Argentina Retakes Path of Energy Sovereignty

Xelcis Presno

Buenos Aires, May 5 (PL-Xinhua-RHC) — Argentinean lawmaker Agustin Rossi said that his country is now on the path of energy sovereignty after the overwhelming approval of a law establishing the expropriation of 51 percent of the shares of the Spanish-owned oil company YPF.

Speaking at a long special session of Congress on Friday, Rossi, the head of the bloc of the ruling Front for Victory (FPV) also stressed that from now on, Argentinean oil will stop being a commodity and become a basic input to support the country’s economic development.

Rossi, who welcomed President Cristina Fernandez’s strong decision to nationalize the country’s main oil company, pointed out that according to the new law, all companies will have to contribute to Argentina’s goal of energy self-sufficiency.

In a related development, President Cristina Fernandez has named Miguel Galuccio, an engineer and former director of the multinational oilfield services supplier Schlumberger, as general manager of the newly-nationalized oil company YPF.
The head of state announced the appointment while signing into law the bill on nationalizing Spanish-owned subsidiary Repsol YPF.

Forty-three year-old Galuccio worked at YPF in the 1990s and until recently headed the Integrated Project Management (IPM), a unit of Schlumberger. He is an expert in the area of well placement and drilling and has undertaken projects for YPF in southern Argentina, the United States and Indonesia.

Quoted by local news sources, the Argentinean president said: “YPF will have a totally professional profile, which does not mean it won’t have political conduct,” and added that the interests of major companies should be aligned with the interests of the state.
Cristina Fernandez thanked opposition parties for their support of her government’s proposal to expropriate a majority stake in YPF on the grounds that the country’s largest oil company was underperforming, thus forcing the nation to import oil. She also invited oil companies around the world to work with YPF to forge a modern and competitive company.

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