Argentina plans to boost crude output to 653,000 bpd by 2025 - official
By Marianna Parraga
LA JOLLA, Calif. May 26 (Reuters) - Argentina aims to eliminate its need for crude imports while increasing domestic oil output to 653,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2025, a 23 percent increase from 2015, an official from the Energy Ministry said on Thursday.
The South American country is working to cover its energy needs after becoming a net importer of energy products three years ago due to decreasing output amid a low investment environment.
To achieve that, it needs to boost local output to cut crude imports and start reducing costly purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) currently made through tenders on the open market and from neighboring Chile.
"We don't believe in self sufficiency. We believe in supplying the country's needs," said Daniel Redondo, Energy Planning Secretary from the Energy Ministry, at a conference in La Jolla, California.
The ministry expects Argentina will be forced to keep importing LNG for at least five years, but incentives given to Argentine producers to enable them to sell their crudes domestically at a price of $55 to $67.50 per barrel would help reduce imports.
It is not clear for how long the government will maintain this price incentive for producers.
At the end of 2015, Argentina's energy imports surpassed exports by $6.5 billion, Redondo said.
Refining firms have imported 2 million barrels of African crudes this year to feed plants with light crude grades that are not abundant in Argentina, and they plan to import at least 1 million barrels more in the second half of the year. Continuación...