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Image courtesy of YPF

Chevron plans to spend up to $15 billion alongside state-run Argentina’s YPF SA to develop the Vaca Muerta Shale.

Chevron and YPF plan to drill 170 wells (increased from 140) in a 96,000-acre area this year in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta formation, according to Seeking Alpha.

Vaca Muerta is the world’s second-largest shale gas deposit and fourth-largest shale oil reservoir, the report said.

YPF holds 3 million net acres in the shale, according to an EIA/ARI assessment.

In Argentina, Chevron had net average daily production of 21,000 barrels of oil and 4 million bcf of gas, according to its fact sheet cited by Seeking Alpha.

The Vaca Muerta-specific pilot investment was $1.24 billion.

In 2014, Chevron added $1.6 billion to the project budget.

The Chevron – YPF  joint venture has further spending plans for a $15 billion investment.

It is targeting daily output of 50,000 barrels of shale oil and 3 million cubic meters, Seeking Alpha said.

“Generally, in the Vaca Muerta, Chevron expects production to grow to 80,000 boe/d by 2017, half of it Chevron’s, according to its investor day presentation.”