BUENOS AIRES, June 4 Argentina's Supreme Court
on Tuesday lifted a freeze that had been placed on Chevron Corp
assets in the country, clearing the way for the U.S. oil
giant to go ahead with a shale oil venture with Argentina's YPF
Chevron has signed an agreement with YPF to invest up to
$1.5 billion in the Vaca Muerta shale megafield, located in
Argentina's southern region of Patagonia.
Late last year an Argentinian judge ordered a freeze on up
to $19 billion worth of assets held by Chevron in Argentina as
part of an environmental lawsuit by Ecuadorean villagers who say
the company is responsible for contamination.
That roadblock to the Chevron/Vaca Muerta deal was lifted on
"The high court overturned the freeze," Argentina's Judicial
Information Center, ICJ, said in a statement.
Chevron was not immediately available for comment.
The company, which denies the environmental charges and has
accused the Ecuadorean courts of fraud, said last month that a
final YPF/Chevron agreement should be signed in July, once
outstanding trade and tax issues were hammered out.
Chevron's president for Latin American and African
operations, Ali Moshiri, said then that Argentina has the
world's second-largest reservoir of unconventional oil after the
YPF, which was renationalized last year as Argentina battles
to reverse a long decline in natural gas and oil output, aims to
drill 132 oil wells at the Vaca Muerta shale formation this