Repsol may halt LNG shipments to Argentina -source

jueves 3 de mayo de 2012 00:10 CEST

* Argentina depends on LNG imports

* Repsol was to sell 10 ships of LNG

* Analysts worry about shortages

Por Alejandro Lifschitz

BUENOS AIRES, May 2 (Reuters) - Spain's Repsol may halt the delivery of nine ships carrying LNG to Argentina in retaliation for the South American government's pending nationalization of its YPF unit, a source in the energy sector said on Wednesday.

The cancellation of the shipments, which is still being studied, could cause shortages in Argentina where the government relies heavily on imports because local gas and oil production has slumped on price controls that critics say discourage investment.

Repsol suspended the first of 10 planned LNG shipments several days ago, citing concerns that Argentina's state energy company Enarsa, which manages imports, might lack financial payment guarantees.

"The chance that all shipments will be cancelled is high. Repsol is studying whether to cancel these sales. It's a response to the nationalization of YPF," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

Argentina's Congress could approve a bill this week that is strongly backed by President Cristina Fernandez and would allow the government to seize 51 percent of oil company YPF, currently in the hands of Repsol.   Continuación...