Chevron Vaca Muerta Costs Drop 20% Nearing Goals, Moshiri Says

The cost to drill wells at Argentina’s Vaca Muerta, site of the world’s second-biggest shale reserves, has dropped 20 percent this year, putting Chevron Corp. and its partners closer to meeting spending goals.

Drilling costs at the Loma Campana field in Vaca Muerta have declined to $11.2 million per well from $14 million in the last three months of 2015, Ali Moshiri, president for Latin America and Africa, said in an interview with Bloomberg News in Buenos Aires on Thursday. That’s putting the joint venture with YPF SA closer to its goal of drilling wells at less than $10 million, he said.

“There are a lot of companies watching Chevron and YPF in Argentina,” Moshiri said. “The performance of those wells are coming very close, very competitive to the United States.”

 Oil companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. are rushing to tap Argentina’s shale reserves, the largest after the U.S., as low oil prices put pressure on producers in the U.S. Output in the U.S. has dropped this year as prices plunged, while producers in Argentina have maintained production levels because of government subsidies to stimulate extraction.

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