YPF's oil and natural gas production rose in 2014 for the second year running, Argentina's state-run energy company said on Thursday. Oil production rose 8.7% last year, while gas output was up 12.5%, YPF said, although the company did not publish annual output volume.
These results ... testify to the sustained work of YPF that, over the past three years, has managed to reverse the decline and maintain growth in production, thanks to an aggressive investment plan, YPF said in a statement.
In the fourth quarter, YPF produced 232,400 barrels per day of oil and 3.43 cubic meters of gas per day.
In September, YPF's Chief Executive Officer Miguel Galuccio admitted it would take Argentina up to a decade and as much as 200 billion dollars in investment to erase an energy output deficit.
Argentina is counting on its giant shale oil and gas field Vaca Muerta to recover energy self sufficiency, but it will require much investment to develop the field 7.4-million-acre formation.
YPF was nationalized in 2012 after the Argentine government seized the stake held by Spanish oil major Repsol. Argentina took a 51% stake in YPF while the rest is traded on the New York stock exchange.
Argentina began running energy deficits in 2011, a year before President Cristina Fernandez expropriated the firm citing Repsol's insufficient investment. The government has had to spend billions of scarce dollars importing energy, which has eroded its trade surplus.
In related news it was reported that an YPF refinery strike in Mendoza province may trigger fuel shortages in 13 provinces, including Buenos Aires and Cordoba. A dispute between two union leaders for control of the provincial oil workers’ unions prompted the strike that began Tuesday in Argentina, YPF’s Mendoza press office said today in an e-mail.
About 3,500 workers are on strike lowering production by 6,000 bpd from YPF’s wells and its Lujan de Cuyo refinery.
The facility in Mendoza, which produces 35% of YPF’s fuel sold in Argentina, isn’t dispatching trucks to half of the country, YPF said in the e-mail.
The company said it filed a lawsuit against the union in Mendoza criminal court after calling police to allow a handful of personnel to enter the refinery to keep it operating.
“YPF filed the criminal case as it seeks to stop the damaging effects of the strike to third parties,” the company said. “Half of Mendoza fuel stations are having shortages. San Juan and San Luis will suffer shortages in coming hours and the other provinces will follow.”