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YPF increases diesel, gasoline
prices to invest in crude output


Listen: Mexico aims to make a revitalized Pemex an engine for economic development

- First of three hikes to total 15% this year
Revenue to help fund $2.7 billion investment program

By Charles Newbery /Platts

Petroleumworld 03 18 2021

YPF, the biggest oil producer in Argentina, said March 16 that it hiked diesel and gasoline pump prices by 7%, helping to finance a $2.7 billion investment plan to boost crude output.

The state-backed company said the increase took effect at the start of the day, adding that this was the first of three increases for the rest of this year that will total 15%, according to a brief statement.

"The planned increases will make it possible to finance, among other things, an ambitious investment plan for $2.7 billion this year," the company said.

YPF relies on the revenue from its petroleum product sales it has a 55% market share for diesel and gasoline to finance its investments because of tight access to credit stemming from the country's low creditworthiness. The local financial market is also too small to raise all the financing it needs for the investment program.

The investment plan is 70% more than in 2020 and is designed to return oil production to growth after a more than 9% slump last year, as a nearly eight-month lockdown of the economy for the COVID-19 pandemic slashed demand and forced the company to shut in wells as it could not sell all of the production. A plunge in oil prices also discouraged activity, which was further constrained by measures to keep workers safe.

The slump, however, hit bottom in the second quarter of 2020, and production has been recovering since then and should allow output to stabilize in the first half of 2021 before resuming growth in the second half, YPF CEO Sergio Affronti said March 5 in a conference call with investors. He said he expects oil production to rise 5% in the second half of this year compared with the year-earlier period, taking the full-year average output of oil to 208,000 b/d in 2021, up from an average of 206,800 b/d in 2020.

Of the investment, 80% will go into the upstream sector, with $1.5 billion in oil and much of that in Vaca Muerta, the country's biggest shale play.


By Charles Newbery from S&P Global Platts
03 16 2021



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