Minister: Argentina to Boost Gas Prices to Spur Production

Reuters

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Argentina will seek to increase gas prices to incentivize production, the new Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren said on Monday, following elections last week that brought to power a center-right government.

Latin America's third-largest economy is seeking to combat its energy deficit, which is draining already-low foreign reserves. It relies heavily on imports of liquid gas.

"In the case of natural gas, we are going to start recovering the price of gas at the wellhead in order to remunerate appropriately investment in local production," Aranguren said at an event in Buenos Aires.

Aranguren also said the new government under conservative President Mauricio Macri would maintain the shareholder structure of energy firm YPF. Since 2012, the Argentine government has held a 51 percent stake in the company.

Many voters have feared Macri might privatize companies nationalized under former President Cristina Fernandez.

Aranguren is the former head of Shell Argentina.

(Reporting by Juliana Castilla, writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Copyright 2016 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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