Shell Argentina has confirmed activities at its Bajada de Añelo unconventional block, in the Vaca Muerta shale formation, were resumed on Tuesday, Kallanish Energy reports.
The firm had halted operations on the site on Saturday, June 6 due to seismic activity. A 3.8-magnitude tremor was felt on the block and recorded by the National Institute of Seismic Prevention (INPRES).
The pause in activities on Pad 22 was a preventive measure, Shell said adding its priority is the safety and health of employees, nearby communities and the safe development of its operations.
After determining that the conditions for a safe and sustainable return to work were “guaranteed,” the company decided to restart operations. It didn’t disclose further details and whether it’s carrying out further hydraulic fracturing activities.
Local media reported other tremors were felt during June 1-4, felt in both Argentina and Chile. It’s unclear whether the seismic events are related to fracking. Authorities will increase the monitoring network, while also taking into consideration that the Neuquén province, home for the shale pay, is a seismic zone.
In addition to the Bajada de Añelo, Shell currently operates the Sierras Blancas, Cruz de Lorena, and Coiron Amargo Sur Oeste, where it’s exploring and producing unconventional oil and gas. It said in January 2020 that Vaca Muerta plays an important role in its portfolio of future opportunities.
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