quinta-feira, 29 de janeiro de 2009

Repsol says finds 3 new gas fields in Algeria

(Adds spokesman comment, details, Goldman Sachs downgrade, share reaction)

MADRID, Spain's Repsol (REP.MC: Quote) said on Monday it had found three new gas fields in Algeria that could produce 1 million cubic metres a day, but its shares failed to sparkle after Goldman Sachs cut its price target for the firm.

The three discoveries together are equivalent to 1 percent of Spain's gas needs, Repsol said, the most important of which is in the Reggane basin which showed flows of 629,000 cubic metres a day.

"We are optimistic because the flows are very good. They indicate there is great potential there," said Repsol spokesman Christian Rix.

Repsol has a 33.75 percent share in the Reggane bloc (KLS-1), while state-owned producer Sonatrach holds 25 percent, Germany's RWE Dea (RWEG.DE: Quote) 22.5 percent and Italy's Edison 18.75 percent.

Repsol shares were held in check by news that Goldman Sachs was cutting its price target by 2 euros to 21 euros, and fears over the nationalisation of assets in Libya [ID:nLN485321] and Bolivia, which seized control of a BP (BP.L: Quote) controlled producer on Friday [ID:nN23307550].

"If it wasn't for Goldman's downgrade, and the fear of nationalisation of oil assets in countries where Repsol operates like Libya and Bolivia, the company would be surging on the gas strike news," a dealer at a leading Spanish bank said.

Shares in the company were 1.6 percent higher at 13.99 euros by 1145 GMT, in line with the DJ European Oil and Gas index and Spain's blue-chip Ibex-35 index.

Repsol said the new wells confirmed the importance of Reggane in its strategic growth plans. Turning discoveries into producing fields normally takes three to five years.

The same consortium has also discovered a second field at the nearby Ahnet basin, with flows of 249,000 cubic metres a day at 1.28 km below the surface and 110,000 cubic metres at 1.34 km down.

Repsol and its partners have discovered a third field at Gassi Ghergui, with initial data showing flows of 158,000 cubic metres a day. It has a 45 percent share of that consortium, with Spain's Gas Natural owning 30 percent and Sonatrach 25 percent.

Repsol operates all the wells. (Reporting by Jonathan Gleave and Ben Harding, Editing by Peter Blackburn)

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