China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec Group) is in talks with Repsol to buy the Spanish oil major’s Argentine unit YPF, even though YPF faces nationalisation, a Chinese financial news website reported on Tuesday.
Citing a source close to Sinopec, Caixin.com said China’s second-largest oil company had reached a non-binding agreement to take over YPF for more than $15 billion.
Huang Wensheng, a spokesman for Sinopec Group, dismissed the report as rumour and said he had no comment on it. “We don’t comment on market rumours,” he said by telephone.
Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau said at a news conference the company had received lots of international interest in participating in YPF, but declined to comment on Sinopec.
The Chinese report said Sinopec believed YPF’s oil blocks in Argentina hold large development potential and it was confident of meeting the Argentine government’s requirement to accelerate development and production.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez unveiled plans on Monday to take control of YPF, drawing swift warnings from key trade partners.
YPF has been under intense pressure from her center-left government to boost production, and its share price has plunged due to months of speculation about a state takeover.