Executives at Argentina’s state oil and gas firm YPF SA in an earnings call acknowledged the difficult economic environment in the country but said upstream plans remained unchanged.

Hydrocarbon production hit 511,000 boe/d in the first quarter of 2023, up 1% year/year. Shale oil and natural gas led the way, mainly from the Vaca Muerta formation. Shale oil production was up by 31% year/year in the first quarter, and shale natural gas production rose by 9%.

Capital expenditures (capex) reached $1.298 billion, up 78% compared to the same quarter last year. The company plans to spend $5 billion this year.

Shale accounted for 50% of total investment, CEO Pablo Iuliano said on the call.

Economic Woes

Despite a massive natural gas infrastructure buildout and promising...