BUENOS AIRES – Argentina’s Anti-Corruption Office is supporting state-controlled energy company YPF in its effort to preserve the confidentiality of parts of an investment deal reached with U.S. energy supermajor Chevron, state-run news agency Telam reported.
YPF recently complied with a Supreme Court order to deliver up a copy of that contract, which governs the companies’ arrangement to develop massive shale oil and gas reserves in the southern province of Neuquen.
But on Feb. 29 the Buenos Aires-based company reiterated its request that the pact, which allegedly contains secret clauses, not be released in its entirety to the public.
YPT stressed then that it would be at a “competitive disadvantage” otherwise.
Telam reported Tuesday that Laura Alonso, head of the Anti-Corruption Office, the Justice Ministry unit responsible for applying a 2003 decree guaranteeing access to public information, met last Friday with YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio and other senior company officials.
The agency added that her office ruled Monday that the company had provided ample justification for excepting the contract from full public disclosure, finding that the reasons the company gave were in keeping with international standards.
The Supreme Court ordered the full disclosure of the investment deal governing development of the Vaca Muerta shale formation in response to a complaint filed by socialist lawmaker Ruben Hector Giustiniani and other politicians.
They filed suit after YPF refused to provide information about the contract, particularly aspects related to environmental quality and the activities the companies will perform.
In issuing the order, the Supreme Court said full disclosure of the contract was required under the 2003 decree.
Separately, company sources told EFE Wednesday that Galuccio would heed the request of President Mauricio Macri, who took office last December, and resign as YPF’s CEO at the end of April.
The YPF chief will remain at his post until the next shareholders’ meeting to ensure an orderly transition and assist in the search for his replacement, the sources said.
Macri’s administration asked Galuccio to step down due to planned changes to the state-controlled company’s structure to be carried out next month, according to government sources cited by Telam.
Then-President Cristina Fernandez, Macri’s predecessor, named Galuccio as YPF’s CEO in 2012 after her administration seized Spanish energy major Repsol’s 51 percent stake in the company.