Wintershall Dea, alongside partners Total Austral and Pan American Energy, has started development drilling at the Fénix gas field offshore Argentina.

Situated approximately 60km off the coast of Tierra del Fuego, the Fénix gas field is expected to significantly contribute to the country’s energy output and reduce reliance on gas imports.

It is expected to have a peak production capacity of around 10mcm of gas per day.

The commencement of drilling is a pivotal step in the development of the largest natural gas field off the Argentine coast.

The Noble jack-up drilling rig, Regina Allen, has been mobilised to kick off the Fénix development drilling programme.

The programme includes three development wells, which are scheduled to be drilled, completed and brought into production in the coming months.

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The gas produced will be transported via a subsea pipeline to the Vega Pléyade platform 35km from Fénix, and subsequently to the Rio Cullen onshore facilities.

The consortium’s total investment in the Fénix development is estimated at approximately $700m.

Fénix is the latest gas field to be developed within the CMA-1 concession, the world’s southernmost gas production area.

Wintershall Dea and Total Austral each hold a 37.5% interest in CMA-1, with Pan American Energy owning the remaining 25% stake.

Currently, the four principal gas fields within CMA-1 – Cañadón Alfa, Aries, Carina and Vega Pléyade – are operational.

Wintershall Dea Argentina managing director Manfred Boeckmann said: “After the successful installation of the production platform in February and extensive and detailed preparation work for the drilling campaign over recent months, we are delighted to commence the next stage in the development of Fénix.

“We are well on track to bring this key energy project into production in Q4 this year. The team is looking forward to a successful drilling campaign.”

Wintershall and its partners made the final investment decision on the Fenix gas project in 2022.