Broken Promises? Huge oil resources in times of low prices

Brazil, Mexico and Argentina have three of the most exciting oil opportunities in the world: pre-salt, deepwater and shale. Developing those areas in times of low oil prices is the challenge ahead. Will each country be up to the task?
Argentina’s shale
|   By Charles Newbery   |
In Argentina, large casinos and hotels dot a highway that runs through a fruit valley and into high plains of Neuquen, home to the country’s new energy promise: Vaca Muerta.
ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and other major companies are drilling into the formation in the province and neighboring Mendoza, driven by promises of huge potential.
YPF, the country’s state-run oil company, already is producing more than 40,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent (oil, gas and associated liquids) from the formation in a partnership with Chevron, making it the first shale oil extracted outside of North America. Others are testing the potential of the resources estimated at among the world’s largest.
So far, the signs are promising.  London-based Andes Energia has drilled four wells and each has produced a similar variety of light crude despite a distance of 1,240 miles between its northern and southernmost discoveries, said CEO Alejandro Jotayan.
“This is not only happening to us, but to all of the companies,” he said.
Argentina needs the energy. Oil and gas production has dropped by more than 20 percent since 2004 on low investment, maturing reserves and few finds, causing energy shortages and a surge …

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