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ECONOMY | 23-11-2023 14:48

Argentina president-elect Javier Milei taps oil veteran to run state energy firm YPF

Milei plans to tap Horacio Marín, a 35-year industry veteran who has worked in the US and South America, to become president and chief executive officer of YPF SA.

Argentina president-elect Javier Milei is turning to a longtime oil-industry executive to lead the nation’s state-run energy company that he’s pushing to privatise.

Milei plans to tap Horacio Marín, a 35-year industry veteran who has worked in the United States and South America, to become president and chief executive officer of YPF SA, a spokesperson for the president-elect’s Milei’s political party said Wednesday.

YPF’s American Depository Shares climbed as much as 2.3 percent Wednesday.

Marín, who currently oversees exploration and production for Billionaire Paolo Rocca’s shale driller Tecpetrol SA, would be central to any push by Milei to re-privatise YPF. The company was nationalised in 2012 to spearhead development of the rich shale fields of Patagonian.

Milei, a libertarian ex-television personality who has drawn comparisons to Donald Trump, has pledged to stoke new life into Argentina’s oil sector by tearing away export hurdles, uncapping fuel prices and encouraging competition among drillers. 

Marín inherits a hosts of challenges at YPF. 

In September, a US federal judge ordered Argentina to pay US$16 billion over a lawsuit tied to nationalisation YPF. The nation’s oil infrastructure has atrophied during the years of government control. And in October, Argentina faced widespread fuel shortages because rampant inflation left YPF unable to pay foreign suppliers for  gas and diesel.

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by joe ryan, bloomberg

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