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Argentina's Santa Cruz Province Revokes 3 YPF Concessions

04/12/2012 | 09:07am US/Eastern
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Argentina's Santa Cruz Province has revoked three concessions held by embattled energy company YPF SA (YPF, YPFD.BA) in a dispute over investment.

Santa Cruz Governor Daniel Peralta signed a decree late Wednesday rescinding the Canadon Vasco, Pico Truncado-El Cordon and Los Perales-Las Mesetas concessions, the provincial government said in a statement.

In its most recent 20-F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, YPF listed Los Perales as home to some of its most important oil and gas fields.

Earlier Wednesday, YPF submitted a plan to the provincial government in which it pledged to invest $4.38 billion in 11 concession areas between 2012 and 2017.

"As governor of the people of Santa Cruz, I'm ashamed that they are trying to take us for fools," Peralta said in reference to YPF's investment plan.

In recent weeks, a number of provinces have revoked more than a dozen concessions held by YPF at the behest of President Cristina Kirchner.

Kirchner accuses private-sector oil and gas companies of not investing enough in their operations to prevent Argentina from becoming a net energy importer.

Local media close to the administration have reported this week that Kirchner might announce a federal takeover of YPF on Thursday after a meeting with provincial governors.

YPF's shares traded in Buenos Aires closed 5% lower at ARS114.50 on Wednesday. Its ADRs also fell 5% to $21.11, giving the company a market capitalization of about $8.3 billion.

-By Ken Parks, Dow Jones Newswires; 54-11-4103-6740, ken.parks@dowjones.com

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