UPDATE 1-Fire to cut output from Argentina's No. 1 refinery 15 pct

Mon Apr 8, 2013 3:02pm EDT

BUENOS AIRES, April 8 (Reuters) - Output from Argentina's biggest crude refinery will fall about 15 percent this year after a fire damaged the plant last week, a spokesman with the state oil firm YPF said on Monday.

The refinery, run by YPF and with a capacity of 188,000 barrels of oil per day, stopped production on Tuesday when a storm flooded the plant and started a fire that damaged some units.

YPF started processing crude at the facility again on Sunday. It did not say how much refining capacity remained off line due to the fire, or how long it will take to get back up to 100 percent.

"According to preliminary estimates, fuel production in the La Plata industrial complex will fall about 15 percent through at least this year," a company spokesman told Reuters, adding that the company would probably have to increase imports of refined products this year.

The plant is located in the city La Plata, about 65 kilometers south of Buenos Aires. It accounts for about 30 percent of Argentina's oil-refining capacity.

YPF was renationalized last year as Argentina battled to reverse a long decline in natural gas and oil output. The company aims to boost oil and natural gas production 32 percent by the end of 2017.

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