With the purpose of further expanding its exports, YPF is moving forward with an ambitious project: the construction of an oil pipeline from Vaca Muerta that will extend to the coast of Río Negro, where the largest export port in South America will be built. This project, known as Vaca Muerta Oil Sur , will require an investment of more than $2.5 billion and will be carried out in three phases.
The first phase involves the creation of an oil pipeline, a conduit that will connect the core of Vaca Muerta, specifically the Loma Campana area, with the pumping station in Allen, Río Negro. This first section will cover more than 127 km of the 570 km that the complete pipeline will have, which will extend to Punta Colorada on the Rio Negro coast during the second phase.
The initial segment of this pipeline will make it possible to complement another monumental project in full development, known as the Duplicar Plus project of Oleoductos del Valle (Oldelval). The Oldelval work, begun last year and scheduled for completion in 2025, is intended to significantly double the oil transportation capacity from Vaca Muerta, as its name suggests.
In a similar way to what happened with gas, oil production in this formation has been limited by the saturation of existing pipelines. This Oldelval project, which involves a private investment of 1.2 billion dollars, covers from Allen to Puerto Rosales, near Bahía Blanca. The initial section of the YPF plan comprehensively complements this initiative, by connecting the epicenter of Vaca Muerta with Allen.
It should be noted that the initial phase of the YPF project has already seen activities in the region, including the storage of materials necessary for its implementation, such as hundreds of 20-inch pipes that will be used in the installation. The complete pipeline, to Punta Colorada, has obtained approval from both the governments of Neuquén and Río Negro. The state oil company expressed confidence that work on the first section will begin this year.
Opponents of the Vaca Muerta pipeline project
Despite having authorization for the pipeline from Vaca Muerta to Punta Colorada, objections to the project persist and in recent weeks have emerged from a new perspective: the province of Chubut.
A group of entities from that region have filed an amparo action before the provincial justice of Chubut, not directed directly against the YPF initiative, but against what they consider “inaction on the part of the government.” Concerns center on the perception that the province did not actively participate in the discussions, despite the fact that the planned location for the future port also affects the coasts of the San Matías Gulf, which borders Chubut.
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