Three Argentine ministers denied as “false” that YPF, under control of Spain’s Repsol had invested more than 20 billion dollars in the company since 1999, arguing the fall in Argentine oil and gas production and reserves is clear evidence of that.
Planning Minister Julio De Vido and Deputy Economy Minister Axel Kicillof, who head the audit investigating investments made by YPF, currently in the process of expropriation, denied on Wednesday that Repsol had invested more than 20 billion dollars, as the Spanish company had stated in full page ads published in the Argentine press on Tuesday.
“Repsol’s investment was insufficient because it triggered a reduction of production and reserves of YPF, leading to an important damage for the company and the country,” the communiqué stated.
“It is false” that the Spanish Repsol, the company that the government is aiming to expropriate the 51% of YPF, has invested more the 20 billion dollars between 1999 and 2011, it continued.
Likewise Economy Minister Hernán Lorenzino proved wrong some of the data published by Spanish company Repsol regarding oil and gas production since YPF was taken over, highlighting “the damage to the Argentine economy”.
Lorenzino stated that “between 1998 and 2011 YPF experienced “a 54% drop in oil production and a 97% fall in gas production.”
“This clearly implies damage to the economy and translates into damage on the people. It remains fundamental that there is support for the President’s decision” to send a bill to expropriate 51% of the shares from Repsol, Lorenzino said.
The nationalization bill is expected to be approved by a wide margin with support from opposition parties. Similarly public opinion polls show 62% of Argentines interviewed supported the decision to seize YPF, which since 1922 has been the Argentine flag company of the oil and gas industry.