The legal battle launched by Spanish oil company Repsol to defend its interests in YPF, which was nationalized by the Argentine government in 2012, has intensified with the filing of a lawsuit against Argentine petroleum firm Bridas.
Executives of the Spanish oil company, however, insist that they are open to negotiating “fair compensation” outside the courtroom.
Repsol’s deputy general secretary for coordination of its YPF activities, Miguel Klingenberg, said last week that at this time the judicial avenue is the only “alternative” open to the oil firm to defend its shareholders, given the lack of dialogue with Argentina.
The latest episode in the conflict was the admission several days ago in a Madrid court of a lawsuit against Bridas for unfair competition.
The suit is based on the negotiations that Bridas began with YPF to exploit the Vaca Muerta hydrocarbons deposit discovered before the nationalization, which would imply the acquisition of an unwarranted competitive advantage as a result of the expropriation, according to Repsol.
The lawsuit is similar to that launched by the Spanish group against the U.S. oil major Chevron, which also opened negotiations with YPF to exploit Vaca Muerta.
These are just two of the nine judicial proceedings launched by Repsol after in April 2012 the Argentine government nationalized 51 percent of the YPF shares to acquire a majority stake, all of those nationalized shares being held by the Spanish firm.