Spain's major energy firms close ranks

2nd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

2 November 2004, MADRID-Spanish energy giant Repsol YPF said on Tuesday it is to strengthen links to the country's major gas company, Gas Natural.

2 November 2004

MADRID-Spanish energy giant Repsol YPF said on Tuesday it is to strengthen links to the country's major gas company, Gas Natural.

A spokesman for Repsol YPF said the firm was to bolster links with gas and electricity enterprise Gas Natural.

Repsol, the world's eighth-largest privately-owned energy producer, is already closely related to Gas Natural.

Last week, chairman Alfonso Cortina stepped down to be replaced by Gas Natural chairman Antonio Brufau.

Brufau represents the gas company on Repsol YPF's board and is staying on as the latter's vice-chairman. He is also director general of La Caixa bank, which is a major stakeholder in both firms.

"We are looking to profit from synergies between the two enterprises within their activity domains," the Repsol spokesman said.

However, the spokesman could not confirm a weekend report in financial daily Expansion that Repsol might cede to Gas Natural its gas transportation activities.

Expansion had cited anonymous sources close to Brufau as saying that whereas Repsol could opt to maintain its gas production and liquefaction activities, Gas Natural could in future distribute some of those gas supplies to clients.

According to the Expansion report, Repsol may decide to cede not just "its rental contracts of gas transport container vessels and its position in regasification plants" but also opt to "transfer its wholesale gas commercialisation and certain electrical plants in Latin America".

More significant than the value of such component parts of its activities, according to Expansion, is the fact that "they form part of Repsol's activities which are growing spectacularly owing to the strong global demand for gas".

Analysts in Spain believe, furthermore, that changes are ahead in the energy sector following Brufau's switch to the top job at Repsol, despite La Caixa ruling out - at least in the medium term - a merger of the two companies.

Despite some analysts seeing possibilities of consolidation, Brufau said last Thursday that mergers were not "on the horizon".
 
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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