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Shell hikes Argentina gas prices 12% in second increase this year

BUENOS AIRES--Shell raised fuel prices in Argentina by 12 percent Monday, drawing fire from the government of President Cristina Kirchner as it struggles with inflationary pressures.

The jump was Shell's second price increase this year, following a 7-percent hike in early January.

Jorge Capitanich, Kirchner's chief of staff, accused the Anglo-Dutch oil giant of acting “contrary to Argentina's interests.”

“It's a unilateral decision to do harm,” he said.

The latest bump takes the price at the pump to 11.87 pesos (US$1.47) a liter for premium gasoline, compared to 9.99 pesos charged by state-owned YPF, the country's largest distributor.

Shell said the increase reflected the sharp rise in the cost of imported oil.

Shell Argentina president Juan Jose Aranguren told Radio Mitre that the government's accusations of a conspiracy were “abusive.”

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