Repsol Sues Seized YPF Unit in Spain on Competition Grounds

Repsol SA (REP), the oil producer whose YPF SA (YPF) unit was seized this year, sued the Argentine company in a Spanish court for unlawful competition.

The suit, which says that YPF shouldn’t be a competitor against Madrid-based Repsol and is illegally benefiting from assets that belong to Repsol, was filed without seeking a specific amount in compensation, spokesman Kristian Rix said.

Repsol is widening litigation as it seeks as much as $10 billion from the Argentine government, which nationalized 51 percent of YPF in April. Repsol has also filed suit in Argentina, the U.S. and the International Court of Arbitration. The company has said it’s ready to take legal action against anyone who now invests in YPF assets.

“We’re not going to stand idly by,” Rix said.

YPF spokesman Alejandro Dilazzaro didn’t respond to telephone calls or e-mails in Buenos Aires.

YPF signed an agreement with Chevron Corp. (CVX) last month to develop oil and natural gas in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale formation, a Connecticut-size area in southern Argentina that contains at least 23 billion barrels of oil. YPF is seeking partners for its $37.2 billion business plan to boost production.

Repsol still owns owns a 12 percent stake in YPF, making it the second-biggest shareholder behind the Argentine government.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Swint in London at bswint@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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