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Los Molles Formation


Outcrop map of the formation

It is the second largest oil and gas formation in the Neuquén Basin after the Vaca Muerta. Los Molles Formation is estimated to have 275 trillion cubic feet (7.8×10^12 m3) of technically recoverable shale gas and 3.7 billion barrels (590,000,000 m3) of technically recoverable oil.[2] In July 2015, the Buenos Aires Herald indicated that Pan American Energy and YPF planned to drill 46 shale gas wells in Los Molles over the next four years in their Lindero Atravesado drilling block, at an estimated cost of US$590 million.[3]

Fossil contentEdit

In several outcrops, the Los Molles formation has been the site of paleontological discoveries: the ichthyosaurs Chacaicosaurus and Mollesaurus, and, in 2017, an ornithischian, Isaberrysaura, discovered with fossilized contents of the gut.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ McIlroy et al., 2005
  2. ^ EIA, 2013
  3. ^ Shale fields to get US$14 billion boost
  4. ^ Salgado et al., 2017


  • McIlroy, Duncan; Stephen Flint; John A. Howell, and Nick Timms. 2005. The Neuquén Basin, Argentina: A Case Study in Sequence Stratigraphy and Basin Dynamics - Sedimentology of the tide-dominated Jurassic Lajas Formation, Neuquén Basin, Argentina, 84. Geological Society of London. Accessed 2019-02-16. ISBN 9781862391901
  • Salgado, Leonardo; José I. Canudo; Alberto C. Garrido; Miguel Moreno Azanza; Leandro C. A. Martínez; Rodolfo A. Coria, and José M. Gasca. 2017. A new primitive Neornithischian dinosaur from the Jurassic of Patagonia with gut contents. Scientific Reports 7. 42778. Accessed 2019-02-16.
  • Various, Authors. 2013. Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources: An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries Outside the United States, _. U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Accessed 2013-06-11.