Chevron exec says Argentine venture worth the risk

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A Chevron Corp. executive says the oil giant is facing risks in its joint venture with Argentina’s state-controlled oil company YPF, but considers that worth it for the chance to exploit a huge shale deposit in Patagonia.

Chevron’s chief for Latin America and Africa, Ali Moshiri, made the comment at a news conference Thursday, a day after provincial legislators approved the joint venture for exploration in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta field.

The deal will take effect Friday, and the first phase calls for Chevron to invest $1.24 billion for drilling about 100 wells in the field in Argentina’s Neuquen province.

Opposition politicians, environmental groups and others have voiced strong criticism of the deal. Complaints focus mainly on potential environmental problems and the government’s refusal to release all of the contract’s provisions.

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