HOUSTON—France’s Total SA is planning to drill about 100 wells over the next five years in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale formation, targeting production of about 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, a company executive said.

Emmanuelle Garinet, head of South American exploration for Total, said the unconventional Vaca Muerta—with stacked layers about 3,000 m belowground in the Neuquén Basin—has become a key asset for the company. Total, which was among the early entrants to the emerging international shale play, is the operator of four blocks and has interest in six nonoperated assets in the formation.

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