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According to the assesment carried out by hydrocarbons reserves and resources auditor Ryder Scott Repsol YPF raises its hydrocarbons reserves and resources estimate in the Vaca Muerta play to 22.807 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Bboe)

  • The gross prospective resources are 21.167 Bboe in an area of 8,071 km² (in which Repsol YPF has a net 5,015 km².2).
  • The gross contingent reserves are 1.525 Bboe (in an area of approximately 1,100 km² of which YPF has a net interest of 834 km². Additionally in the same area, 116 Mboe have been booked as reserves (3P).
Press release
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Repsol YPF has hired hydrocarbons reserves and resources Ryder Scott to carry out an external audit of its reserves, contingent resources and prospective resources of non-conventional hydrocarbons (shale oil and gas) in the Argentinean Vaca Muerta formation in the Neuquén province. The technical analysis is based on the criteria set out by Argentinean stock market regulator Comisión Nacional de Valores de Argentina and the United States´ Securities and Exchange Commission. At the same time, the evaluation of the contingent and prospective resources complies with the requirements of the Comisión Nacional de Valores de Argentina and the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Petroleum Resources Management System. 

The Vaca Muerta formation is estimated to cover an area of 30,000 km² (7.4 million acres) of which Repsol YPF has a net 12,000 km² (3 million acres). Preliminary results indicate that 77% of the area contains oil, with the rest containing dry and wet gas. 

The evaluation carried out by Ryder Scott covers a total area 8,071 km² (1,994,378 acres), of which Repsol YPF holds a net interest of 5,016 km² (1,239,407 acres) in the Neuquén area. 

The work carried out breaks down the total volumes of prospective resources, contingent resources, and proved, probable and possible reserves (definitions are detailed in Annex 4).

Resources and reserves of the Vaca Muerta formation

Gross (100%) Neto YPF
Petróleo (Mbbl) Condensado  (Mbbl) Gas (Mbep) Total (Mbep) Petróleo (Mbbl) Condensado  (Mbbl) Gas (TCF) Total (Mbep)
Prospective Resources 5.732 396 15.038 21.167 3.966 224 8.161 12.351
Contingent Resources 1.115 0 410 1.525 883 0 330 1.213
Reserves 3P 81 0 35 116 81 0 35 116
Possible 33 0 15 48 33 0 15 48
Probable 25 0 11 35 25 0 11 35
Proven 23 0 10 33 23 0 10 33

Source: Ryder Scott - 1 bep = 5,615 million cubic feet of gas   

The audit has determined that in an area of 1,100 km² there are 1.115 Bbbl of oil in associated contingent resources, and 410 Mboe of gas, making a total of 1.525 Bboe. For the YPF participation the contingent resources would amount to 883 Mbbl of oil and 330 Mboe of gas, resulting in a total of 1.213 Bboe. 

To reach these results, Repsol YPF has made a significant technical effort in a record time, leading the exploratory effort for non-conventional resources in Argentina, after analyzing all the successful technologies used in the USA and adapting them to the geological conditions in the country. To do this, the company co-operated with a number of leading shale developers in the US that, because of the expectations generated by the Vaca Muerta shale, have partnered YPF for exploratory activity in a number of areas. Repsol YPF’s technical teams have since 2009 developed the project, spending $300 million on exploration, mapping and initial development in the Vaca Muerta formation. By 31 December 2011, the Vaca Muerta formation had produced 700,000 boe. 

The encouraging results obtained so far have prompted Repsol YPF to continue exploring the area to determine the play’s full extension and productivity in oil, gas and wet gas. The company aims to drill 20 wells in 2012, solely and jointly with several partners, to continue investigating prospective resources.

With the current results, Argentina has the opportunity to reproduce the revolution in nonconventional hydrocarbons seen in the United States by developing the resources contained in the Vaca Muerta formation. 

The development of the 1,100 km² explored so far by Repsol, containing gross contingent resources of 1,525 Bboe could make possible a 50% increase in Argentina’s current gas production. This would require a total investment by all stakeholders of $28 billion in the coming years to drill 2,000 producing wells which would require 60 drilling rigs more than currently operating in Argentina. 

If the positive results of the exploratory wells underway are confirmed, the country’s gas output could rise 50%. This would require 1,000 wells to be drilled in a first phase, with an additional required investment of $14 billion, necessitating 40 drilling rigs more than Argentina currently has. 

These 100 new rigs would more than double the current number of rigs in the Argentine, currently totalling 80. 

If exploration proves successful in the Vaca Muerta formation and immediate intensive development began in the area, in 10 years its capacity could double Argentina’s existing gas and oil production. This would require a vast investing effort that would reach $ 25 billion per year in order to develop all the existing prospective resources.

A programme of such magnitude would require an important capital investment in Argentina from international markets; a powerful domestic industry (equipment, services, etc.) and competitive and highly technically qualified human resources since Argentina competes against other similar developments worldwide (USA, China, Australia, Eastern Europe, etc.). 


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This document does not constitute an offer or invitation to purchase or subscribe shares, in accordance with the provisions of the Spanish Securities Market Law (Law 24/1988, of July 28, as amended and restated) and its implementing regulations. In addition, this document does not constitute an offer of purchase, sale or exchange, nor a request for an offer of purchase, sale or exchange of securities in any other jurisdiction. In particular, This document does not constitute an offer to purchase, subscribe, sale or exchange of Repsol YPF's or YPF Sociedad Anonima's respective ordinary shares or ADSs in the United States or otherwise. Repsol YPF's and YPF Sociedad Anonima's respective ordinary shares and ADSs may not be sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration under the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Some of the above mentioned resources do not constitute proved reserves and will be recognized as such when they comply with the formal conditions required by the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This document contains statements that Repsol YPF believes constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may include statements regarding the intent, belief, or current expectations of Repsol YPF and its management, including statements with respect to trends affecting Repsol YPF’s financial condition, financial ratios, results of operations, business, strategy, geographic concentration, production volume and reserves, as well as Repsol YPF’s plans, expectations or objectives with respect to capital expenditures, business, strategy, geographic concentration, costs savings, investments and dividend payout policies. These forward-looking statements may also include assumptions regarding future economic and other conditions, such as future crude oil and other prices, refining and marketing margins and exchange rates. These statements are not guarantees of future performance, prices, margins, exchange rates or other events and are subject to material risks, uncertainties, changes and other factors which may be beyond Repsol YPF’s control or may be difficult to predict. Repsol YPF’s future financial condition, financial ratios, results of operations, business, strategy, geographic concentration, production volumes, reserves, capital expenditures, costs savings, investments and dividend payout policies, as well as future economic and other conditions, such as future crude oil and other prices, refining margins and exchange rates, could differ materially from those expressed or implied in any such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, oil, gas and other price fluctuations, supply and demand levels, currency fluctuations, exploration, drilling and production results, changes in reserves estimates, success in partnering with third parties, loss of market share, industry competition, environmental risks, physical risks, the risks of doing business in developing countries, legislative, tax, legal and regulatory developments, economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions, political risks, wars and acts of terrorism, natural disasters, project delays or advancements and lack of approvals, as well as those factors described in the filings made by Repsol YPF and its affiliates with the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores in Spain, the Comisión Nacional de Valores in Argentina, and the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States. These documents are available on Repsol YPF’s website ( In light of the foregoing, the forward-looking statements included in this document may not occur. Repsol YPF does not undertake to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that the projected performance, conditions or events expressed or implied therein will not be realized. The information contained in the document has not been verified nor revised by the External Auditors of Repsol YPF.