Latin America-Caribbean Petrobras and CNPC have signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing to begin negotiations on a strategic partnership, Petrobras has reported. The companies agreed in the document to jointly evaluate opportunities in Brazil and abroad in key areas of mutual interest. Petrobras, the Brazilian national oil company, said in a news release on its website that partnerships will represent an important strategy in its 2017–2021 business plan because of the potential benefits of risk sharing, increasing investment capacity, technological exchange, and strengthening corporate governance. YPF, Total, Wintershall, and BP have announced a USD 1.15-billion joint investment to increase shale gas production in Argentina. The provincial government in Neuquén, where the resource-rich Vaca Muerta Shale is located, has agreed to split the Aguada Pichana area into two parts and combine it with the Aguada de Castro area.