Repsol’s YPF Unfair Competition Claims to Be Judged in Spain

Repsol SA, the Spanish oil company that sued YPF, Chevron Corp. and Bridas Group after the seizure of its Argentine unit, will have its unfair competition claims judged in Spain after a court ruled it was fit to try the cases.

Spain’s mercantile court has agreed to hear cases filed by Repsol against oil companies that are doing deals with YPF after its Argentine unit was nationalized in April 2012 without compensation, according to court documents seen by Bloomberg. The court dismissed an appeal it had received from Argentina stating the cases should not be heard in Spain. A Repsol spokesman declined to comment.

The lawsuits allege that companies such as Chevron and the billionaire Bulgheroni brothers’ Bridas Group holdings, currently in billion-dollar projects to develop Argentina’s Neuquen province shale fields with YPF, are engaging in unlawful competition by seeking to benefit from assets that were illegally confiscated. The Madrid court will bundle these cases into one, the documents showed.

Repsol’s board recently rejected a compensation offer from YPF for a 47 percent stake in a joint venture in the Vaca Muerta formation valued at $3.5 billion, as well as $1.5 billion toward development. The company is currently involved in another lawsuit in New York that seeks compensation of $10.5 billion.

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