State-owned Qatar Petroleum has acquired a 30% equity stake in the Vaca Muerta shale basin in Argentina after an agreement with ExxonMobil, United Press International (UPI) reported.

Vaca Muerta contains roughly 16 million barrels of oil and 308 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

“This is an important milestone, as it marks Qatar Petroleum’s first investment in Argentina as well as its first significant international investment in unconventional oil and gas resources,” Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, Qatar Petroleum president and chief executive stated.

Investment bank RBC Capital Markets has estimated that while shale reservoirs in Argentina have higher developmental costs than the US equivalents, the production output offsets some of those additional costs.

Qatar is the world’s second largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) behind Australia. Qatar Petroleum plans to increase its LNG production by roughly 30%.