Latin America & Caribbean

Spanish oil company Repsol ends operations in Argentina

YPF logo balloon in Buenos Aires Image copyright AFP
Image caption Repsol has raised a total $6.3bn (£3.8bn) with the sale of Argentine government bonds and YPF shares

Spanish oil company Repsol has ended its operations in Argentina, two years after the government seized its assets.

Last month the Argentine congress gave final approval to pay $5bn (£3bn) in compensation for Repsol's stake in Argentine oil firm YPF.

The Spanish company has now announced that it has sold the last batch of bonds it received to cover its losses.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had accused Repsol of under-investing in oil production.

Before the government seized Repsol's assets in April 2012, the Spanish company had just over 50% of YPF shares.

The company initially estimated the value of its assets at $10.5bn (£6.3bn), but it later settled for about half of that amount.

As part of the settlement, Repsol agreed to drop its lawsuits against Argentina.

The deal was seen as crucial in helping Argentina attract foreign investment in its shale oil and gas reserves, which are among the world's largest.

YPF is responsible for about a third of Argentina's oil and a quarter of its gas output.

In 2010 Argentina started importing fuel for the first time since YPF was privatised in 1993.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner blamed Repsol for draining YPF of its resources since acquiring a controlling stake in the 1990s, and not investing enough to cope with growing internal demand.

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