YPF Calls Union Leader to Avoid Strike in Vaca Muerta

YPF SA, Argentina’s state-run crude producer, is calling a meeting with the leader of 20,000 oil workers to discuss a strike set to stall production in the country’s giant Vaca Muerta shale formation for a day.

An official from the company is asking to meet union leader Guillermo Pereyra today, a week before the 24-hour stoppage he scheduled for May 26, Pereyra said in an e-mail to Bloomberg News, without naming the official. Mariano Gibaut, a YPF spokesman, declined to comment in a telephone interview from Buenos Aires.

Pereyra’s union is protesting regulation allowing YPF, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Petrobras Argentina SA to import gasoline at subsidized prices. The imports mean three small refineries in oil-rich Neuquen province that employ about 700 workers are paying more for crude than large producers and risk shutting down, the labor leader, who’s also a senator for the province, said.

“We will go on strike in solidarity with workers that may lose their jobs,” Pereyra said in the e-mail. “Right after we announced the strike, a YPF vice president called me and we will meet later today to discuss this issue.”

Vaca Muerta, Spanish for dead cow, may hold 23 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to a report by independent auditor Ryder Scott released in 2012 by YPF.

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