Argentine Provinces Said to Unite Against YPF License Bid

17 May 2014   Argentina

The three provinces holding Argentina’s largest shale oil and gas deposits will jointly challenge a push by federally owned YPF SA (YPF) to take control of the auction and renewal of licenses, three officials said. Jorge Sapag, Francisco Perez and Martin Buzzi — governors of Neuquen, Mendoza and Chubut, respectively — met in Buenos Aires on May 13 and agreed to impel their congressional representatives to oppose any move to federalize licensing processes, the provincial officials briefed on the matter said. They asked not to be identified because the talks were private. The three governors weren’t available to comment, their assistants said by telephone. Alejandro Di Lazzaro, a YPF spokesman in Buenos Aires, declined to comment. The fight underscores political tensions derived from unclear rules governing Argentina’s nascent shale boom. For prospective license holders, a single federal system would remove the need to negotiate with two levels of government. […]

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