BUENOS AIRES Oct 22 Argentina's state-run
energy company YPF will continue to buy liquid natural gas (LNG)
from Spain's Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF) despite a ruling
against the purchases by an Argentine federal judge, YPF chief
Miguel Galuccio said on Tuesday.
The ruling earlier this month threatened to complicate the
energy-deficient nation's ability to keep its power plants
running. But Galuccio said YPF plans to continue the purchases.
"We are going to keep going," he said. "If the justice
system says no, we'll stop."
The Argentine company has appealed the ruling and denies
allegations of a conflict of interest.
The Argentine Consumers' Union filed a lawsuit saying
another Spanish firm, Repsol owns a 30 percent share in
GNF while also holding a stake in YPF, which brokers the fuel
purchases on behalf of fellow state-run energy company Enarsa.
Repsol holds an 11.82 percent stake in YPF following
Argentina's nationalization of Repsol's controlling assets in
the state-owned firm last year. Fuel imports have been growing
in Argentina due to a persistent fall in local production and an
increase in demand, especially for gas.
Argentina's fuel imports rose 31.9 percent in August 2013
from the same month last year. Led by liquid natural gas
purchases, imports totaled $942 million, according to data from
Argentina's energy secretary.
(Reporting by Karina Grazina; Editing by Supriya Kurane)