Chile says to back ENAP in Argentina after YPF move

SANTIAGO Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:39pm EDT

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SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chile will back state oil and gas company ENAP after Argentina moved to expropriate Repsol's controlling share of the country's leading energy company YPF, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said on Tuesday.

Larrain said he hoped the issue would not hurt Chilean investments in the neighboring nation.

"It's an issue that hasn't gone unnoticed by the government ... The government backs ENAP in the process of looking after ENAP's interests," Larrain said.

ENAP has over $100 million invested in Argentina, Larrain said.

Part of that investment is in a joint-venture between YPF, which is controlled by Spain's Repsol, and subsidiary ENAP Sipetrol Argentina.

(Reporting by Moises Avila. Writing by Anthony Esposito.)

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