YPF headquarters in Buenos Aires. EFE/File
London, Dec 7 (EFE).- The head of Argentine oil firm YPF said here Friday that efforts to settle the dispute stemming from the Argentine government's takeover of the company from Spanish oil major Repsol are "well on track."
In statements to reporters after a meeting with investors, Miguel Galuccio said that as CEO he is not involved in the legal proceedings deriving from the government's expropriation in May of a 51 percent stake in YPF from Repsol.
Nevertheless, he said "a healthy climate exists between two countries that have a long relationship, a climate conducive to talks."
Galuccio said he is confident an accord can be reached to resolve the dispute, adding that "the government is open to talking about money."
Repsol on Monday filed a request for arbitration with the World Bank's International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, demanding that Argentina pay compensation for its "unlawful and discriminatory" stake seizure.
Repsol, whose interest in YPF has been reduced to roughly 12 percent, has valued the stake seized by the Argentine government at $10.5 billion.
Separately, Repsol has sued U.S. oil supermajor Chevron in Spain and the United States, accusing that company of "unfair competition" for agreeing to partner with the Argentine government to develop the massive Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas formation in the western province of Neuquen.
Galuccio called that lawsuit "baseless" and said he does not believe it will affect negotiations between YPF and Chevron to develop Vaca Muerta projects.
The CEO also said he was very well received Friday by British investors during a presentation in London of YPF's five-year $37.2 billion investment plan.