Repsol defiant after learning of YPF fate ‘on TV’

By Chris Noon 17 April 2012 8:48 GMT
Argentines cheered the announcement that the government would expropriate a 51% share in YPF. (PA) Argentines cheered the announcement that the government would expropriate a 51% share in YPF. (PA)

There was shock, anger and defiance after Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner wrested control of the country’s largest oil and gas producer, YPF, from Spanish giant Repsol-YPF on Monday night. Analysts described the expropriation of over half of YPF’s shares as a “watershed” moment, and questioned the legality, motives and logic behind the move.

Standing in front of an image of Eva Perón, Kirchner said in a national television address that a bill will be shortly presented to the country’s Senate, allowing her government to expropriate 51% of YPF shares from Repsol’s 57.4% stake. The president described the move as "the recovery of sovereignty", rather than "a model of statism", adding that Argentina was “the only country in Latin America, and I would say in practically the entire world, that doesn't manage its own natural resources".