Argentine workers’ blockade may force output cuts

BUENOS AIRES Aug 27 (Reuters) – Oil workers maintained a blockade at a storage plant in southern Argentina on Friday, a protest that could affect crude output in the region if it drags on, a company source said.

The protest by workers at the Punta Loyola plant in Santa Cruz province has not hit production so far, but it is forcing several oil companies to store crude at their own facilities.

Brazil’s Petrobras (PER.BA: Quote)(PETR4.SA: Quote), Chile’s state oil company ENAP and local firm Roch are being affected by the 10-day old protest, launched by the Santa Cruz Private Oil and Gas Union.

A source at one of the companies, who asked not to be identified, said their storage facilities were close to full capacity, meaning production could be slowed if the blockade lasts much longer.

No one at the union could immediately be reached to comment on the protest, which was called to press for compensation to be paid to recently sacked workers.

The three firms produce about 2,000 cubic meters of light crude per day, the company source said.

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