Argentina’s nationalized oil and gas corporation YPF said oil output rose 2.5% last year, compared with an 8% decline in 2011 while natural gas output fell 2.3% on the year, versus an 11% decline in 2011. According to the statement YPF aims to boost oil production by 4% and gas output by 1.8% in 2013.
The latest data from Argentina's energy secretariat indicate YPF increased oil production by 3% to about 11.6 million cubic barrels in 2012. In contrast, the company's natural gas output fell 2.6% to 10.3 billion cubic meters from 2011, according to the data.
The stats were released this week when the inauguration of a well YPF is drilling in search for unconventional oil and gas in the province of Neuquen, The exploratory well will demand an investment equivalent to 12 million dollars.
“This is the first time YPF has drilled a well of this kind in Chubut. The well will stretch down more than 3,000 meters in a bid to uncover oil and gas”, said YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio during the inauguration ceremony that was attended by President Cristina Fernandez, Chubut governor Martin Buzzi among other top officials.
CEO Galuccio used the well's inauguration to highlight the company's achievements over the past year. He said YPF had boosted oil output for the first time in many years.
We have reversed the decline and we're ready to grow CEO Galuccio said, noting that oil and gas production across the country have plummeted over the past decade.
The declining output has coincided with rising demand for oil, gas and fuel, converting Argentina into a net energy importer and forcing the government to spend billions each year on gas and fuel imports. In 2011 Argentina spent more than 9 billion dollars on imported energy, leading the government to take drastic measures, including a crackdown on the currency market and the seizure of the majority share of YPF from Spain’s Repsol in April 2012.
Galuccio's top goal at the company has been to boost output and end the need to spend money on energy imports. He voiced confidence in YPF future while also acknowledging that things will not always be easy.
You don't measure increases in oil output from one day to the next. You measure it in years, he said. Everything we do is long-term. We're heading in the right direction and we're going to recover our energy sovereignty. It's not that we're going to have setbacks and problems. We're going to have them.
Galuccio said YPF also boosted fuel production by 2.6% last year, compared with a 6.9% decline in 2011. Meanwhile, refineries processed 1.6% more crude in 2012 compared with an 11.5% decline the previous year.
The higher output helped YPF cut gasoline and diesel imports by 54% and 33%, respectively, from 2011, YPF said in a release.