Correction: Argentina's Oil Output to Drop 4.0-4.8% this Year

Below is the corrected version of a story that originally ran on June 21.

Oil production in Argentina this year is expected to drop 4.0-4.8% to nearly 231 million barrels compared to 2005, newspaper El Cronista reported, citing local consultancy IES Consultores.

In the first quarter of this year, oil output dipped 4.8%, the report said.

Production will continue to drop in part because of a lack of new investments and the sector's uncertain future, IES head economist Eduardo Alvarez reportedly said.

"The numbers do not surprise. The [declining] curve remains because we work in very exploited basins," former energy secretary Daniel Montamat added.

Spanish oil company Repsol YPF (NYSE: REP), which saw output drop 8.7% in 1Q06, was the top producer during the period, followed by local oil firm Pan American Energy, Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) and US oil major Chevron (NYSE: CVX). For their part, Chevron and Petrobras saw production fall 15% and 9.9% respectively, while Pan American Energy enjoyed a 1.3% increase.

Meanwhile, natural gas production rose 8.7% in the first three months of this year, with Repsol YPF the top producer, followed by Argentina's Total Austral and Pluspetrol, and Petrobras.

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