Repsol's Brufau calls for 'convincing sum' in YPF deal

MADRID Tue Dec 3, 2013 10:34am EST

People walk past a YPF petrol station in Buenos Aires November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

People walk past a YPF petrol station in Buenos Aires November 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Marcos Brindicci

MADRID (Reuters) - Repsol (REP.MC) Chairman Antonio Brufau asked on Tuesday for a "a convincing sum" from Argentina to compensate the Spanish company for the expropriation of its majority stake in energy firm YPF (YPFD.BA).

Argentina and Repsol struck a preliminary deal last week over compensation for the 2012 seizure of the oil firm's YPF stake that sources have said is worth $5 billion, half the sum Repsol was initially demanding.

"We've never mentioned $5 billion. What we've said is that the sum received should be, in some way, convincing and justify the withdrawal of lawsuits," Brufau said at a business event in Barcelona, his first public appearance since last week's deal.

As part of a preliminary agreement for compensation in the form of liquid assets, Repsol would withdraw a series of lawsuits filed against Argentina over the YPF seizure.

Details of the settlement, which is likely to be paid in 10-year U.S. dollar denominated Argentine bonds, are expected to be ironed out in the coming weeks.

Repsol rejected a YPF compensation offer in June that included a stake, and investments, in Argentina's vast Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas field.

Earlier, Spanish commerce secretary Jaime Garcia-Legaz said any deal between Argentina and Repsol is preferable to a lawsuit.

"A deal, whether good, bad or average is always better than a lawsuit," Garcia-Legaz said in an interview with newspaper Expansion published on Tuesday.

(Reporting By Sarah Morris and Carlos Ruano; writing by Tracy Rucinski; editing by Greg Mahlich and Tom Pfeiffer)

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