November 22, 2017

Energy minister Guillermo Coco criticizes head of YPF Miguel Galuccio

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Neuquén considers quitting YPF’s board

While the federal government seeks to move forward with a new hydrocarbons law, Neuquén Energy Minister Guillermo Coco said yesterday the province will think about abandoning its seat on the board of the YPF state-controlled energy company because of YPF head Miguel Galuccio’s lobbying to convince oil companies to support the government’s bill.

“Galuccio visited Exxon’s president to ask him to support the bill sponsored by YPF. Because of that we are now evaluating taking a judicial measure. This is clearly commercial disloyalty,” Coco said. “Galuccio is lobbying against the province. We will evaluate if we continue or not to sit in YPF’s board.”

Coco said the federal government and YPF created a “slander campaign against the provincial government and its officers” due to their opposition to the bill. President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration wants to move forward with the bill. Coco said Neuquén is willing to “debate every article of the bill,” but he added that Victory Front legislators “aren’t willing to.”

The CFK administration is eager to debate a reform to the 1967 Oil and Gas Law, in order to re-work production regulation, as well as revenue sharing for shale, which isn’t included under the current legislation. The bill would give oil and gas companies more benefits to encourage their investment in the country.

Nevertheless, opposition to the bill has been building since the draft was first discussed between the government and the country’s domestic version of the OPEC — the Federal Organization of Hydrocarbon Producing States (Ofephi), in June. The overwhelming attention given to the holdout case put the matter on the backburner until recently. It seems now that the issue is back on the agenda.

“Their strategy is to confuse the people through the press without a real interest in discussing the issue. Legislators have criticized our stand without knowing the bill. They just repeat what other people tell them to say,” Coco said, while he supported the work done by provincial energy company Gas y Petróleo de Neuquén (GyP).

— Herald with online media

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