Two tankers carrying 3 million barrels of Nigerian and Angolan crudes set sail this month to Argentina to feed its domestic refining network, pushing the country’s imports close to 2015 level, according to data from Thomson Reuters.
Argentina last year received some six million barrels of imported crude, mostly African medium and light grades bought by independent refiners on the open market including the latest tankers. his year’s haul is about 5.8 million barrels.
The country’s energy minister, Juan Jose Aranguren had in May, encouraged refiners to replace imports with domestic crude as part of a plan to move toward energy self-sufficiency and avoid another year of record purchases, particularly of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and gasoil.
But that request has so far been difficult to meet. Argentina mostly produces heavy crude that several of its refineries cannot process, and needs lighter oil to convert into gasoline and diesel.
The country’s crude output remained stagnant last year at around 530,000 barrels per day