January 15, 2015 / 9:29 PM / 5 years ago

Argentina's YPF says oil, gas output rose in 2014 for second year

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 15 (Reuters) - YPF’s oil and natural gas production rose in 2014 for the second year running, Argentina’s state-run energy company said on Thursday, fanning hopes Latin America’s third largest economy is on track to regaining energy self-sufficiency.

Oil production rose 8.7 percent last year, while gas output was up 12.5 percent, YPF said. The company did not publish annual output volume.

“These results ... testify to the sustained work of YPF that, over the past three years, has managed to reverse the decline and maintain growth in production, thanks to an aggressive investment plan,” YPF said in a statement.

In the fourth quarter, YPF produced 232,400 barrels per day of oil and 34.3 cubic meters of gas per day.

In September, YPF’s Chief Executive Officer Miguel Galuccio told Reuters it would take Argentina up to a decade and as much as $200 billion in investment to erase an energy output deficit.

Argentina is counting on its giant shale oil and gas field Vaca Muerta to recover energy self sufficiency, but it will require much investment to develop the field 7.4-million-acre formation.

YPF was nationalized in 2012 after the Argentine government seized the stake held by Spanish oil major Repsol. Argentina took a 51 percent stake in YPF while the rest is traded on the New York stock exchange.

Argentina began running energy deficits in 2011, a year before President Cristina Fernandez expropriated the firm citing Repsol’s insufficient investment. The government has had to spend millions of scarce dollars importing energy, which has eroded its trade surplus. (Reporting By Sarah Marsh and Eliana Raszewski; Editing by David Gregorio)

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