The current managers of YPF accused Spain’s Repsol of deliberately delaying or ignoring contracts to supply Argentina with liquid natural gas, following the seizure of a majority stake in the company belonging to the Spanish corporation.
However the supply of that fuel is “guaranteed” with a greater domestic production and “new volumes” to be purchased from Bolivia, said a Sunday release from the Ministry of Federal Planning which has taken over the seized YPF.
“Anticipating with a high degree of certainty that Repsol would suspend the liquid natural gas contracted shipments to generate uncertainty and attempt to damage the company” the current managers of YPF have began negotiations with “other companies that have shown an interest in supplying the fuel”, added the release.
Repsol which has seen 51% of its majority stake in YPF and holdings in YPF Gas taken over by the Argentine government cancelled ten shipments of liquid natural gas with the excuse of delays from the Argentina’s Energy company Enarsa in signing the letters of credit, according to reports in the Buenos Aires press.
The first Repsol shipment was expected in mid May in Bahia Blanca, where there is liquid natural gas terminal and sufficient storage for the fuel.
The release adds that the new YPF management has taken the necessary measures to help reverse a situation of ‘fuel scarcity’, since daily production of natural gas has been increased to an average of two million cubic metres per day.
To this must be added, as of next week, the 3 million cubic metres from Bolivia as part of the bilateral agreement to provide the fuel, and which was signed in March 2010, meaning that daily provision to the Argentine market has now an additional five million cubic metres of natural gas.
During 2011, “while YPF was under the control of Repsol Argentina had to import over 9.3 billion dollars in fuel because of the collapse in the company’s output of oil and gas”, underlined the release adding that Argentina then had to buy overseas the fuels that “Repsol could and should have produced”.
“This new non compliance of Repsol does not surprise and only ratifies the strategic decision, from the government of President Cristina Fernandez in recovering for the Argentines control over YPF and its fine tuning with the needs of the country”.
Argentina’s Lower House is scheduled to debate on Wednesday the definitive approval of the bill which implements the expropriation of YPF, an initiatives which received an overwhelming support in the Senate including from the main opposition parties.
However Repsol in these last days has published full-ad pages in the Argentine media rejecting government statements that it did not invest sufficiently in YPF, of which it holds a 57.43% stake, or that it has emptied the oil company, which are some of the several arguments used by the government of President Cristina Fernandez to seize the company.
Last week the new management of YPF said that since taking over it had increased the output of gas by 5% and oil by 0.7%. The release said that gas production had jumped to 1.7 million cubic metres per day, and 1.500 additional barrels of oil were being pumped daily.