Repsol reports profits slump due to Libya conflict

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Repsol, Spain's biggest oil group, reported on Thursday second-quarter profits were down 10.9 percent at 579 million euros ($831 million), due in part to its partial withdrawal from Libya.

In the first half, profits were slightly up, 0.4 percent, at 1.344 billion euros.

Operating income was down sharply, both in the second quarter, slumping 24.2 percent to 1.111 billion euros, and in the first half, when it was down 9.4 percent to 2.722 billion euros.

The group blamed the downturn on "the fall in production in Argentina due to labour conflicts there and the suspension of production in Libya."

In February, Repsol, which has been present in Libya since the 1970s, halved its oil production in the country and evacuated all of its expatriate workers there because of escalating protests against Moamer Kadhafi's 42-year rule.

Before the crisis, Repsol produced 340,000 barrels per day in the country, or a net production of 40,000 barrels after paying back some of them to Libya as taxes.

That is "14 percent of our global production, which is 345,000 barrels per day," it said,

"Obviously, if we cannot count on Libyan production, (Repsol) accounts will be affected, but it all depends on how long the conflict lasts," the group said.

During the first half of the financial year, Repsol also continued disengaging from its Argentine affiliate YPF, notably selling 10 percent of it to another shareholder, the Petersen group.

© 2011 AFP

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