GeoPark has signed an agreement with Phoenix Global Resources to acquire working interests in four blocks in the Neuquén Basin, Argentina.  

The independent oil and gas company will pay $190m (168bn pesos) for 122,315 gross acres, with additional commitments including exploratory funding and midstream capacity investments. 

The acquisition includes a 45% interest in the producing Mata Mora Norte block and the Mata Mora Sur exploration block in Neuquén Province, as well as a 50% interest in the Confluencia Norte and Confluencia Sur exploration blocks in Rio Negro Province.  

These blocks are situated in the oil window of the Vaca Muerta formation, known for its shale oil and gas resources. 

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the Vaca Muerta formation has an estimated 16 billion barrels of oil and more than 300 trillion cubic feet of unconventional gas, with less than 10% developed so far.  

Oil production from this region contributes half of Argentina’s total oil output. 

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GeoPark’s acquisition is expected to boost its 2024 production by an estimated 5,500–6,500 net barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), depending on the transaction’s closing date.  

The assets’ average gross production reached 12,594boepd in March 2024. 

The transaction also provides GeoPark with access to reserves, with Degolyer & MacNaughton certifying 25 million barrels (mbbl) of 1P net reserves, 49.5mbbl of 2P net reserves and 102.6mbbl of 3P net reserves as of December 2023.  

GeoPark CEO Andrés Ocampo said: “This transaction is transformational for GeoPark, adding immediate value-accretive production and reserves growth, while materially increasing and diversifying our long-term drilling inventory into one of the most prolific petroleum systems in the world.  

“We are particularly encouraged by achieving this strategic step change alongside PGR, a proven and established operator with world-class shareholders and great success in efficiently developing and de-risking the unconventional opportunities in Vaca Muerta.” 

The deal is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals. 

Last week, GeoPark entered into an offtake and prepayment agreement with Vitol for the sale of oil from the Llanos 34 block in Colombia.  

The agreement grants GeoPark up to $300m in immediate funding, with the potential to increase to $500m in prepaid future oil sales.