Significant deposits of shale oil and gas were discovered in Neuquén province in the Loma de Lata field in 2010, adding to Argentina's overall shale reserves which are estimated to be the second largest technically recoverable reserves in the world. The country ranks fourth in the same category for shale oil. Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale formation, also in Neuquén, is estimated to hold an amount of oil and gas nearly equal to the reserves of the world’s largest oil company, Exxon Mobil. The country has over 150 shale wells in production, more than any country in the world aside from the U.S. and China (4) Argentina has claimed all oil and gas fields as government land but exploration and exploitation permits and the final product are in control of the provinces and extraction companies. Argentina's environmental protection regulatory frameworks have been criticized for being weak, with one key area for concern fresh water use and waste. Another concern regarding fracking is its potential to contribute to earthquakes in a part of Argentina experiencing increasing volcanic activity (4). On June 15th, 2013 Chevron signed an agreement with the newly state-controlled YPF (formally controlled by Spain’s Repsol) in Argentina to begin resource extraction anew in the region of Neuquén (3). The pilot stage of the project involves 1.24 billion invested for 161 wells drilled in a 20 sq km area. The second phase of the extraction project would involve 1500 more wells in a 395 sq km region. Chevron and YPF hope that 50,000 barrels of oil and 3 million cubic meters of associated natural gas could be produced daily from the project (1). The Vaca Muerta region might contain as much as 23 billion barrels of oil, according to a YPF-released report (6). There has been a court-ordered probe into suspected irregularities in the YPF-Chevron agreement. A court in May 2014 began to investigate President Cristina Fernandez, who is accused of abusing her authority regarding the YPF-Chevron agreement. While a lower court had dismissed the charges, a federal appellate court in Buenos Aires overruled this decision.