The Strangest Oil Field I’ve Ever Seen,
Lomas Las Yeguas in the Argentine
Arlie M. Skov
Why strange? It was discovered as a gas field, but even stranger, there was no subsiding depositional basin, no source rock per se, no heat of deep burial converting organic matter to oil and gas, no migration, and a very odd trap!
The field was discovered by YPF in 1985 in the Nequen Basin, west of Buenos Aires. Later wells found an “oil leg”. By end of 1993, 11 gas wells, 6 oil wells, and 2 dry holes had been drilled, and cumulative production was 150 BCF, 4.9 MMBC, and 5.5 MMBO.
Finding the oil triggered a clause in the Operating Agreement between YPF and Total adjusting equity based upon “agreed” proved oil reserves. Neither company, nor the experts they hired, could agree so I was named “Final Ruling Expert”, and “Final Arbiter of Proved Reserves”. Thus, in early 1994, I became very familiar with the field’s wonderfully “strange” nature.
Bio – Arlie M. Skov:
Skov’s professional career began in 1956 in Pauls Valley, OK, in a Sohio Petroleum Company District Office. In 1959, he was transferred to Sohio’s Oklahoma City Headquarters, and named Manager Special Projects there in 1966. In 1976, after BP purchased Sohio, he became Manager Production Planning for BP Alaska in San Francisco, responsible for the development planning of the Prudhoe Bay oil and gas field on Alaska’s North Slope. In 1980, he served as a Technical Adviser on the Alaska Gas Pipeline project, and in 1981, was named Manager Frontier Research and Chair of a Joint Task Force for bidding on the impending Beaufort Sea lease sale.
In 1983 he was named Director of Production Technology for BP in Dallas, responsible for all US technical services and research. In 1988, he moved to Houston in 1992 as a Senior Consultant worldwide retiring in 1992. He then formed Arlie M. Skov, Inc., a petroleum consulting firm. He moved to Santa Barbara, CA, in 1995.
In college, Skov began a long and increasingly active association with the Society of Petroleum Engineers, serving as International President in 1991. He has been awarded many of the Society’s highest honors, including Honorary Membership in 1997 and Legion of Honor in 2004. He still serves on the Board of the SPE Foundation.
Skov graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BS degree in Petroleum Engineering (with special distinction), and attended the Management Program at the University of Virginia in 1966. He served on the US National Petroleum Council for six years (1994 to 2000) at the invitation of three different US Secretaries of Energy. Skov continues to write and to speak to diverse audiences on energy matters.
Leila Rashedi Vlasko