UPDATE 1-Argentina's YPF cuts 2016 capex as global downturn bites

viernes 4 de marzo de 2016 12:10 GYT

(Adds details on Capex cut, bond issuance, labor talks, share price)

By Richard Lough and Juliana Castilla

BUENOS AIRES, March 4 (Reuters) - Argentina's YPF will cut capital expenditure by at least 20-25 percent this year to mitigate the impact of the global oil price rout, the state-controlled firm said on Friday, sending its shares lower.

In a clear acknowledgement that the global downturn was hurting the exploration of one of the world's largest untapped shale resources, YPF said it was putting rigs into standby mode and forecast tough discussions with labor unions.

"We do not see a meaningful production growth this year," Chief Executive Officer Miguel Galuccio told an investor conference call.

Asked if the reduction in investments could be more severe, Galuccio said: "20 percent is a starting point. If we need to go down further, we will."

YPF shares traded at 282.00 pesos at 12.58 p.m. (1058 ET), down 1.4 percent on Thursday's close.

Galuccio's chief financial officer, Daniel Gonzalez, said Argentina's largest petroleum producer was considering a single bond issuance on international markets this year but added there was no clarity on timing. He did not say how much would be issued.

A depreciating peso currency and cut in the government-fixed price of domestically-produced oil helped shunt YPF into the red in the fourth quarter, with the company posting a 1.70 billion pesos loss.   Continuación...