ARGENTINE OIL OUTPUT UP 24.8 PERCENT ON YEAR

ARGENTINE OIL OUTPUT UP 24.8 PERCENT ON YEAR

Argentina produced 31.6 million barrels of crude oil in January-February, up 24.8 percent from 25.31 million a year earlier, according to Economy Ministry data released Tuesday.

Daily oil output averaged 526,724 barrels, up 22.7 percent from 429,179 in January-February 1991.The data showed state oil company Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales produced 18.52 million barrels of oil in January-February, down 18.2 percent

from 22.83 million a year earlier.

YPF produced less oil because it transferred fields to private investors as part of a continuing government program to end state dominance over oil and natural gas industries.

As a result, private oil production was 13.07 million barrels, up 392.2 percent from 2.66 million a year earlier, according to the data.

Argentina had 1.57 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of Jan. 1, with 35 percent of that amount owned by YPF and 65 percent by private companies, according to YPF data.