March 13 Chevron Corp will not proceed
further in a shale oil venture with Argentina's YPF
until a court freeze on the U.S. oil major's Argentinian
assets has been lifted, a top Chevron executive said in an
interview with the Financial Times.
YPF, Argentina's state-controlled energy firm, and Chevron
in December agreed to a preliminary deal of about $1 billion to
develop Argentina's vast shale oil resources.
That came one month after an Argentinian judge ordered a
freeze up to $19 billion worth of assets held by Chevron in
Argentina as part of an environmental lawsuit by Ecuadorean
villagers. Chevron has accused the Ecuadorean courts of fraud.
An appeals court later upheld the freeze in January.
Chevron cannot move forward on the deal as long as the
freeze is in effect, as a lock-up could be ordered on money the
oil major brought in to spend, the company's Vice President
George Kirkland told the Financial Times.
Kirkland's comments come days after YPF Chief Executive
Miguel Galuccio said negotiations with Chevron were moving
slowly due to the court freeze.