Argentina has ordered the seizure of YFP Gas, another company controlled by the Spanish firm Repsol, as part of plans to take control of the country’s natural resources and increase production.
“There’s a division (of Repsol) called YPF Gas and that’s what will be expropriated,” Argentine Senator Marcelo Fuentes said on Wednesday.
The move to declare YPF Gas a public utility by taking 51 percent of its shares, is an extension of the takeover of YPF oil company, the major subsidiary of Repsol, which Argentina decided to seize earlier this week.
YPF Gas is not a part of the oil firm, but a separate company in which Repsol owns 85 percent of the shares.
Argentina claims that the Spanish YPF oil company was forcing it to import more of its energy supplies and failed to invest in the country.
According to officials, YPF Gas is the main provider of fuel tanks delivered to low-income households that are not on the gas network in Argentina.
The Argentine Congress is currently examining a proposal for legislation that would expropriate 51percent of the shares of YPF oil company.
On Monday, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced the decision to reclaim the oil firm, which was formerly a state-owned Argentine oil company, at a meeting with her cabinet and provincial governors.
She said that Argentina had to take back YPF oil company since it is the only nation in Latin America “that does not manage its natural resources.”
In response, the Spanish government announced that it could retaliate against Argentina economically.
The Spanish energy company Repsol purchased YPF in 1999. With a market value of $10.6 billion, YPF accounts for about 25 percent of Repsol’s profits and 60 percent of its production.
Spain, the United States, the IMF, the European Union and, World Bank have criticized Argentina’s move to nationalize YPF.
Repsol President Antonio Brufau said on Tuesday that the company would take legal action against Argentina, seeking compensation of about $10 billion.
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