Jane Van Ryan
Posted December 10, 2010
Here's a prime example of how good old-fashioned American ingenuity is helping people around the globe. This good news story involves Argentina and the U.S. innovation that combines horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas locked in hard shale formations.
As reported by Associated Press, Argentina's YPF energy company announced this week that it has discovered 4.5 trillion cubic feet of proven shale gas reserves in Patagonia. The find expands the company's proven reserves from 6 to 16 years worth of natural gas, which should provide a major boost to Argentina's economy.
Argentina's economic growth has been limited due to constrained energy supplies. According to AP, the country has been importing natural gas from Bolivia and has forced factories and other large customers to stop operations to prevent consumers from experiencing blackouts.
Sebastian Eskenazi, executive vice president of YPF, said the practices used by companies to harvest unconventional gas deposits in the United States will be required to produce Argentina's shale gas. "This is the first discovery of this kind in South America," he added.
YPF, which is owned by Spain's Repsol energy company, says it will spend $140 million to find more shale gas deposits. With its partner, the Brazilian firm Vale S.A., a total of $1 billion will be invested to develop a new energy future for Argentina.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.