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BP Venture Committed to Argentine Output, Province Says

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Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc’s Pan American Energy LLC joint venture in Argentina is committed to maintaining output at the Cerro Dragon field, a provincial official said.

Pan American will reduce output at the field to about 14,500 cubic meters (91,202 barrels) of crude per day, down 10 percent from average production before a strike that ended last month, Chubut Province Oil Minister Ezequiel Cufre said. Newspaper La Nacion reported today that the company was halting output at the field.

“They’re committed to maintaining production,” Cufre said in a telephone interview from the southern city of Comodoro Rivadavia, citing a meeting yesterday with Pan American Chief Executive Officer Martin Prieto. Shareholder Carlos Bulgheroni was also at the meeting yesterday, he said

Cerro Dragon, Argentina’s largest oil field, resumed output on July 12 after a three-week workers strike. Pan American will stop 18 out 51 pieces of equipment at the field for maintenance following the strike and some workers will be put on paid leave, Cufre said.

Pan American didn’t respond to e-mails and calls seeking comment.

BP owns 60 percent of Pan American, which operates Cerro Dragon. Bridas Corp., a joint venture between China’s Cnooc Ltd. and Argentina’s Bulgheroni family, owns the other 40 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pablo Gonzalez in Buenos Aires at pgonzalez49@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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