The Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Exim) has penned a US$75mn credit guarantee facility (CGF) with state-backed Argentinian energy company YPF.

US Exim will cover a loan from Bank of America as part of the deal, with YPF – the biggest oil and gas producer in the South American country – using the financing for ongoing capital expenditure in support of its upstream and downstream activities.

This includes the purchase of equipment, materials and services from US companies from as many as 12 states.

As part of the agreement, US Exim has also provided an estimated exposure fee of US$7.9mn, bringing the export credit agency’s (ECA’s) total financing amount to US$82.9mn.

In a press release, US Exim states: “In their application, YPF identified 33 potential US businesses in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin, from whom YPF may purchase US-made equipment.”

As many as 15 of these possible exporters are categorised as small businesses, US Exim says, adding that the transaction is “expected to support an estimated 500 US jobs in the petroleum equipment and services industry, which, like so many others, has been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The US Department of Commerce also voiced its support for the deal, noting that the US is YPF’s top country for supplies, and that the energy company has “remained resilient in spite of the drop in crude prices”.

As the oil sector reeled from a price war between major producers Russia and Saudi Arabia in March, together with the impact of Covid-19 containment measures – which saw demand and storage space for the commodity dry up – the US oil benchmark was briefly plunged into negative territory for the first time ever.

In February, before the sector felt the full force of this dual-blow, US Exim struck a seven-year guarantee deal with a wholly-owned subsidiary of YPF, backing the export of oil and gas services equipment from the US to Argentina.