Argentine natural gas output up in January, crude output down
BUENOS AIRES, March 9 (Reuters) - Argentine natural gas production rose in January versus the same month last year, but output of crude oil extended 2014 losses into the first month of this year, the country's energy secretariat said on Monday.
Natural gas output rose 1.6 percent in January to 3.595 million cubic meters while crude production fell 1.1 percent to 2.63 million cubic meters, the secretariat said in a statement posted on its website.
Last year the country's natural gas output fell 0.5 percent while crude production fell 1.4 percent, as a slump in private production outweighed gains in output by state energy company YPF.
Argentina is running an energy deficit of about $7 billion per year, which the government wants to close by attracting investment to the vast but mostly untapped Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas field in Patagonia.
Many potential investors have shied away from Argentina due to interventionist government policies, including heavy-handed import restrictions and currency controls.
(Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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