Spain court considers Repsol lawsuit against Chevron

Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:33pm EST
 
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MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish court has agreed to consider a lawsuit by Repsol REP.MC against U.S.-based Chevron Corp CVX.N over its cooperation agreement with Argentina's YPF YPFD.BA.

Repsol had threatened legal action against companies that invest in YPF after Argentina seized control of the Spanish firm's majority stake in the energy company in April.

"Repsol will continue to take all legal action necessary to protect its interests" in YPF, a Repsol spokesman said on Monday, confirming a Reuters report that a Madrid court was studying a case brought by the Spanish company.

No one was immediately available to comment at Chevron.

YPF announced a deal in September with Chevron to jointly explore for share oil and natural gas in the South America's Vaca Muerta field.

Repsol also sued Argentina in May through a U.S. court as part of an effort to recover more than $10 billion from the country in a case that could drag on for years.

The company's chairman Antonio Brufau said in an interview on Sunday he hoped to reach an agreement with Argentina over compensation.

Repsol had said it would seek arbitration at the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Six months must pass before ICSID will consider arbitration in any dispute, to allow negotiations between the two parties.

Those six months have now expired and it is up to Repsol to request arbitration in a process that experts say could take more than a year.

(Reporting By Carlos Ruano; Writing by Tracy Rucinski and Sarah Morris; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)