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Argentine Provinces Withdraw Oil Operating Licenses From YPF

YPF SA, Argentina’s biggest crude producer, will lose an estimated 9 percent of its output after the provinces of Chubut and Santa Cruz pulled oil operating licenses for under-investing in the fields.

“The federal government supports this decision by the provinces because its about enforcing the law,” national Energy Secretary Daniel Cameron said today at a press conference in Santa Cruz. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner supports the measure, Cameron said.

YPF is facing mounting pressure from Fernandez’s government and the country’s oil-producing provinces to boost investments amid output declines and rising fuel imports. The fields for which the licenses were withdrawn represent about 9 percent of YPF’s national output, according to national Energy secretariat data.

YPF has 90 days to return the four fields to the two provinces, Chubut Governor Martin Buzzi said at the same press conference.

YPF is controlled by Repsol YPF SA, Spain’s largest energy company, which has a 57.4 percent stake. Argentina’s Eskenazi family holds a 25.4 percent stake and operates YPF.

“We got tired of policies created in Spain to take away away our oil,” Santa Cruz Governor Daniel Peralta said.

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