Chevron has five days to answer Repsol suit on Argentine assets

Chevron Corp. (CVX) has five days to respond to a lawsuit from Repsol SA (REP) for entering into an agreement with YPF SA (YPF) to develop reserves in Argentina, documents from the Spanish court where the case is filed show.

The mercantile court in Madrid gave the U.S. company 20 working days from Oct. 26 to answer the suit or risk being excluded from the process, court documents obtained by Bloomberg News show.

The court agreed to consider the case in the same decision, saying it has the jurisdiction to do so. A court official, who declined to be named in line with policy, confirmed the details of the document, which isn’t public.

Repsol is suing Chevron after it signed a memorandum of understanding with Buenos Aires-based YPF to study tapping wells in Vaca Muerta shale formation. The deal was made after Argentina expropriated Repsol’s majority stake in YPF, a decision the Spanish company says is illegal and for which it is seeking $10.5 billion in compensation from the Argentine government.

Chevron, based in San Ramon, California, hasn’t been served with any legal action, and any case would be “unproductive” as Spanish courts don’t have the authority to rule on the issue, James Craig, a spokesman for Chevron’s African and Latin American operations, said yesterday. He didn’t reply to calls and e-mails seeking comment today.

Kristian Rix, a spokesman for Repsol, confirmed on Nov. 19 that the court had agreed to consider the suit against Chevron.