Argentine state oil company YPF said on March 18 it will invest more than $300 million in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz as part of a $2.7 billion annual investment program announced last week.

YPF is at the heart of Argentina’s efforts to reduce its annual energy deficit and become a net oil exporter.

“We are presenting an investment plan and working to put more resources at the service of production,” company president Pablo Gonzalez said in a statement.

YPF's investment plan for this year is a 73% increase on last year, when the company was hit hard by falling oil prices sparked by lower demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The company carried out a multibillion-dollar bond restructuring earlier this year.