Tapi Aike is one of the largest new block awards in Argentina, and is Echo's high impact, frontier scale exploration asset.

The licence benefits from extensive 2D seismic along with 3 interpreted gas discoveries, offering a significant de-risked multi-Tcf exploration opportunity.

An extensive 3D seismic acquisition programme covering 1200 sq km has recently been completed. These new data will be used to identify well locations for drilling with the first well location now identified.

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  • Area: 5,187 km2
  • Status: Exploration Permit
  • Effective Date: 1st January 2018
  • Term: 3 Years (+1 Year for Tight Gas)


  • Gross Unrisked Prospective Resources: 6.0 Tcf Pmean (Gaffney Cline & Associates)
  • Interest: Echo Energy 19%
  • Seismic Available: 3,400 km (2D) 195 sq km (historical 3D). Newly acquired 1,200 sq km (3D) (2019 vintage) 

See our video on Tapi Aike here


Work Programme for 1st exploration period 

The total work programme is consistent with that of typical frontier exploration. 3D seismic data will be acquired to increase the Chance of Success of new exploration wells using modern geophysical techniques. 

  • Selected 2D & 3D seismic reprocessing
  • 3D Seismic Acquisition (completed June 2019): 1,200 km2   
  • Exploration Wells: 4


  • CGC - Compañía General de Combustibles S.A. (81% Interest)


Permit Area

  • The Tapi Aike licence block lies in southern Argentina within the Austral basin, approximately 100km northwest of Rio Gallegos in the flat lying landscape of the Santa Cruz province, Patagonia.
  • Whilst the block is one of the most under-explored in the region, hydrocarbon exploration in the block dates back to the 1970's, where several wells were drilled on 2D seismic. 
  • This includes 3 interpreted gas discoveries which were undeveloped in the 1970's due to low gas prices and a lack of technology. These key wells help de-risk exploration in Tapi Aike and increase the Chance of Success of our future wells.
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Petroleum Geology

At least 3 independent exploration plays have been identified within the Tapi Aike licence. These plays were generated during the Upper Cretaceous and Early Tertiary due to changes in the relative sea level. The prospects in these plays are geographically located in the block in relation to their depositional setting.


Local Infrastructure

Natural gas discovered may be transported via the major pipeline in the northern portion of the block which links the region to the rest of Argentina.

Produced gas can be processed through existing infrastructure in adjacent blocks, such as the Puesto Peter and Barda Las Vegas plants.

Natural gas may also be used for regional power generation in the existing infrastructure.

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Reserves Potential

Following an initial internal assessment, preliminary estimates have indicated the Tapi Aike licence area to hold multi Tcf potential. Gross unrisked prospective resources are estimated at 4.2 Tcf mid case, 6.0 Tcf Pmean and up to 12.4 Tcf high case. Up to 41 leads have been identified, two of which have been evaluated by Gaffney Cline & Associates to have gross GIIP of 1.2 and 1.8 Tcf (Pmean).

Echo will continue its exploration programme by reprocessing existing 2D seismic, followed by the acquisition of 1,200 square kilometres of 3D seismic data to validate prospective drilling of 4 exploration wells.