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Chevron Says Spain Courts Can’t Rule on Deal With Argentine YPF

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Chevron Corp. said the Spanish court where Repsol SA filed a lawsuit against it for entering into an agreement with YPF SA to develop shale gas reserves in Argentina doesn’t have authority to rule on the deal.

“There is no basis for this lawsuit and any such suit, if brought forward, would be unproductive,” James Craig, a spokesman for Chevron’s African and Latin American operations, said in an e-mailed statement sent to Bloomberg. “Courts in Spain do not have jurisdiction in this matter and Chevron stands by the legitimacy of its memorandum of understanding with YPF.”

Two months after San Ramon, California-based Chevron signed a memorandum of understanding with Buenos Aires-based YPF to study tapping aging wells in the Vaca Muerta shale formation, Repsol sued Chevron in Mercantile Court in Madrid for allegedly “commercial unloyalty,” a spokesman from the Madrid-based company said on Nov. 19. The filing of the suit couldn’t be verified because phonecalls to the court weren’t answered.

Chevron hasn’t been served with any legal action, Craig said. “Chevron remains hopeful that a needless judicial proceeding can be averted,” Craig said. Alejandro Di Lazzaro, a YPF spokesman, declined to comment on the suit.

Vaca Muerta, a Connecticut-sized area located in the western Argentine province of Neuqeun, contains the equivalent of more than 23 billion barrels of oil.

YPF is seeking a partner to invest $4.5 billion as part of a $37.2 billion five-year expansion, according to the document.

Repsol is also seeking $10.5 billion in compensation from the Argentine government for the expropriation of a majority stake of YPF, which the Spanish company says was illegal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pablo Gonzalez in Buenos Aires at pgonzalez49@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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