The Argentine authorities, after an unwarranted campaign of harassment and threats of nationalisation, have withdrawn licences from the Repsol-YPF oil company in five Argentine provinces and are threatening to do the same in three other provinces. This withdrawal has no justification whatsoever and sets a dangerous precedent for the legal certainty of European companies in Argentina.
The oil company is accused of failing to meet its investment and production obligations. However, YPF’s investment in Argentina since 2006 has been higher than its income, with record investment in 2011 despite labour conflicts in the south of the country that significantly affected production. For example, in Chubut, investment had steadily increased since 2009 to reach USD 350 million in 2011, which represents an increase of 236 % over this period. Furthermore, YPF’s rate of capitalisation of reserves was higher than the average for other companies both in oil (144 %) and gas (100 %), showing a higher production-reserves ratio in oil and natural gas than these other companies. YPF is also one of the most innovative oil companies in Argentina, becoming the pioneer in discovering and developing a shale oil play in the Vaca Muerta field.
The EU should demand firmly of its trading partners that they respect the legal certainty of investments by European companies.
What action will the European Commission take to ensure respect for the rights of the European oil industry and to ensure legal certainty for investments by European companies in Argentina?