Argentina renationalizes YPF; appoints new CEO

Argentine president Christina Fernandez has enforced the new controversial law for seizure of the nation's largest energy company from its Spanish parent Repsol YPF SA, after the nation's congress approved the bill with an overwhelming majority.

Deputies in the lower house voted 207-32 to ratify the expropriation bill tabled by the president about three weeks ago. Last week, the senate had passed it with a 63-3 majority.  (See: Argentine senate okays YPF nationalization)

YPF, earlier a state-run company, was privatised in 1993 and was acquired by Spanish oil and gas giant Repsol in 1999.
The president thanked the opposition for their strong support for the nationalisation bill that has empowered the government to take control of the oil and gas major from Repsol without paying any advance for its claimed $10.5-billion stake.

At the signing ceremony on Friday, Fernandez said: ''The idea is essentially to create an YPF that is absolutely modern, competitive, with professional people, but with political leadership, intent on returning energy self-sufficiency to the Argentine Republic."

The president also named a youthful Argentine, Miguel Galuccio, a 44-year old engineer to take the reins of the company as its new chief executive.

Galuccio worked with YPF earlier, and left the company after Repsol's takeover and rose through the ranks of Texas-based oil services giant Schlumberger Ltd. He resigned as president of the company's production management division in London.