Newly nationalized Argentine oil firm YPF said it plans to invest $7 billion annually between 2013 and 2017 to boost reserves and output.
The company unveiled its strategic five-year plan Tuesday in an event hosted by President Cristina Fernandez, who represented the 51 percent interest in YPF the government seized last month from Spanish energy major Repsol.
Fernandez defended the expropriation move and said her government does not act "dogmatically or with a manual."
The president said she decided to maintain a "mixed model" with both state and market representation in YPF, but that the company's goals now will be aligned with the interests of the state.
"The disconnect between the interests of companies and countries results in political, social and economic situations absolutely inadvisable for any country model," Fernandez said, adding that the top official of the new YPF is CEO Miguel Galuccio and that Axel Kicillof, who has played a key role in the seizure, will be the government's top representative on the new board of directors.
YPF plans to invest $3.5 billion this year as part of an "aggressive but realistic" investment plan that will allow 6 percent annual growth in oil and gas production, compared with a current 6 percent annual decline, Galuccio said.
The oil company will use cash flow and seek out partners among other local and foreign companies - as well as look to the local and international financial markets - to fund the investment plan, Galuccio said.
The goal for the 2013-2017 period is to boost investment in non-conventional crude and natural gas 10-fold and 20-fold, respectively, as well as increase refining capacity by 20 percent, with the aim of bolstering fuel supplies, the YPF CEO said.
Some analysts and industry executives say the recently discovered, massive Vaca Muerta shale formation in west-central Argentina was at the root of the expropriation.
The strategic plan will require the creation of 10,000 new jobs over five years, Galuccio said.
Repsol, which maintains a 12 percent stake in YPF and has retained one seat on the new 17-member board, is demanding more than $10 billion in compensation for the stake seizure, but the Argentine government has indicated it won't pay that sum and that it will be up to a valuation panel to set the amount.
YPF posted net profits of 5.29 billion pesos ($1.17 billion) in 2011, 8.5 percent less than in 2010.
Repsol sent a letter to Fernandez last month formally proclaiming a dispute over Buenos Aires' nationalization of the company's YPF unit, the first step toward invoking international arbitration.
The Spanish government also has blasted the expropriation move and retaliated by announcing plans to limit imports of Argentine biodiesel.
Madrid said it also will pursue "measures of a diplomatic nature" in various international forums in response to the takeover.
The Argentine federal government is keeping just over half of the controlling 51 percent stake in YPF, with the remainder to be divided among the country's oil-producing provinces. EFE