BUENOS AIRES May 10 Argentina's state-run oil
firm expects a 3 percent decline in crude and natural
gas output this year due to labor problems and bad weather,
Chief Financial Officer Daniel Gonzalez told investors during a
conference call on Wednesday.
YPF posted first-quarter profit of 192 million pesos ($12.47
million), down 78 percent from 855 million pesos a year earlier,
the company announced on Tuesday. It said total petroleum
production for the quarter fell 1.5 percent from a year earlier
to 573,500 barrels per day.
"Clearly 2017 is not going to be a strong year in terms of
hydrocarbons production," Gonzalez told investors on the call.
"At this point we are targeting a 3 percent decline in our
hydrocarbons production for this year," he added.
The company is seeking partners to develop some of the
world's largest shale reserves in the southern Patagonia area of
the country. The negative production estimate was due to bad
flooding in Chubut province and labor disruptions earlier this
year as the government was negotiating a new pact with unions.
"We are envisioning (the 3 percent production decline), with
some of the conflicts that we went through with the unions, that
had to do with structural changes, which I think are a great
thing for the long term, and also with negative weather that
affected Chubut," Gonzalez said.
Argentina sealed a deal this year with unions and oil
companies including Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell
Plc to guarantee investments in exchange for greater
labor flexibility and wellhead price subsidies.
(Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; Editing by Bernard Orr)