UPDATE 1-Argentina to boost crude oil output to 653,000 bpd by 2025 - official
(Adds results of thermal power auction, quotes, details)
By Marianna Parraga
LA JOLLA, Calif. May 26 (Reuters) - Argentina aims to eliminate its need for crude imports while usincreasing 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 three years ago due to falling crude and gas 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. "Self sufficiency would imply to have an exportable surplus and that is not going to happen soon."
At the end of 2015, Argentina's energy imports surpassed exports by $6.5 billion, Redondo said.
The ministry expects Argentina will be forced to keep buying costly LNG for at least five years. It offered to buy some 47 cargoes so far this year and it could buy up to 80 cargoes depending on the demand, also adding extra imports of gas oil in the coming weeks.
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 oil imports. Continuación...