MADRID Nov 18 Spanish oil major Repsol
hopes to reach an agreement with Argentina on compensation for
the nationalisation of Repsol's YPF subsidiary, the company's
chairman said in an interview published on Sunday.
Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez seized control of
YPF in April, accusing Repsol of investing too little and making
the Latin American country overly reliant on expensive imports.
"I still believe and hope that we can reach an agreement
over YPF," Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau said in an interview
with El Pais newspaper. "I hope we can reach an agreement to
compensate us for that which belonged to us."
Repsol 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.
Brufau said the company 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's up to Repsol to
request arbitration in a process that experts say could take
more than a year.
"We will go to the ICSID when we see best, but we can
withdraw the request if agreement is reached," he said.
The comments echoed sentiments expressed by Spain's Foreign
Minister Jose Maria Garcia Margallo on Thursday, when he said
that he hoped to reach a solution soon.
"There are conversations between the Argentinean and Spanish
governments about the matter every single day," he said on
The newspaper interview came as the Ibero-American Summit,
an event attended by leaders from Portugal, Spain and Latin
American countries, ended in Cadiz, southern Spain.
Argentinean President Fernandez did not attend the event,
sending her vice-president in her place.
(Reporting By Sonya Dowsett and Carlos Ruano; Editing by David