Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF)

views updated

Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF)

Immediately following World War I, powerful international petroleum companies moved into Argentina in an effort to secure the best oil properties. Concerned by their presence, President Hipólito Irigoyen created the YPF in 1922 as a state petroleum monopoly to ensure Argentine control over this vital resource. It was left to his successor, President Marcelo T. de Alvear (1922–1928), to invigorate the agency. To head the YPF, Alvear named Colonel Enrique Mosconi, under whose leadership it became symbolic of Argentina economic independence. In a different context, Mosconi's imprint can be discerned on the state oil companies of Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay. In the 1950s and 1960s presidents Juan Domingo Perón and Arturo Frondizi, concerned about maximum productivity and economic development, undermined the idea of a state petroleum monopoly. Gradually, foreign petroleum companies were again invited to participate more fully in the exploitation of the nation's oil fields. To help pay off its public debt, in 1993, the government officially privatized YPF. Initially, a combination of national and international investors took over the company, but a Spanish firm, Repsol, began buying up its shares and took control of the corporation in 1999, making it the tenth largest oil company in the world.

See alsoPetroleum Industry .


David P. Rock, Politics in Argentina, 1890–1930: The Rise and Fall of Radicalism (1975).

Carl E. Solberg, Oil and Nationalism in Argentina: A History (1979), pp. 76-111.

Additional Bibliography

San Martín, José N. El petróleo y la petroquímica en la Argentina (1914–1983): Emergencia, expansión y declinación del nacionalismo petrolero. Buenos Aires: EC (Ediciones Cooperativas), 2006.

                                           Paul Goodwin