(Corrects type of plant in Canada in paragraph 3, as not a
* Will look at Gas Natural stake sale, in no hurry - CFO
* Adjusted net profit 509 million euros, beats forecasts
* Adjusted EBIT 979 million euros vs 944 million poll
* Production up 12 percent, refining margins down 45 pct
By Tracy Rucinski and Andrés González
MADRID, July 25 Spanish oil group Repsol
paved the way for the eventual sale of its $6 billion
stake in utility Gas Natural Fenosa, acknowledging its
rationale would dwindle once another planned disposal is
Repsol Chief Financial Officer Miguel Martinez said the need
to hold the 30 percent Gas Natural stake would diminish after
Repsol closes a deal to sell a large part of its liquefied
natural gas (LNG) assets to Royal Dutch Shell.
Repsol's Gas Natural stake allows it to sell LNG from its
liquefaction plants in Trinidad and Tobago and in Peru, and its
regasification plant in Canada, to the gas company. But once it
has sold its largest plants - in Trinidad and Tobago and Peru -
to Shell, it will have less need for the sale agreement with Gas
"We are not in a hurry, but it is true, that is something we
have to seriously think about," he told investors on a
conference call, asked about selling the stake, which is worth
4.5 billion euros ($6 billion) at current market prices.
Repsol will hold on to the smaller, less profitable Canadian
"In the LNG business, the bigger you are and the more ships
you have, the more synergies you have," said one oil sector
analyst who asked to remain anonymous. "Repsol, having sold
those liquefaction plants, doesn't need the Gas Natural stake to
open up new markets."
Repsol's comments came after higher production helped it
beat second-quarter profit forecasts.
Net profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory costs
(CCS adjusted net) rose 5.8 percent to 509 million euros,
beating analysts' forecasts of between 402 million euros and 481
million according to a Reuters poll.
Production rose 12 percent to 359,700 barrels of oil
equivalent (BOE) per day, putting the company firmly on track to
meet its target for 10 percent production growth in 2013.
New projects in Repsol's upstream business have helped it
post steady results since the nationalisation of its majority
stake in Argentine energy company YPF last year.
Growth at the company's LNG business, where operating profit
more than doubled in the second quarter from a year earlier,
also boosted results and helped compensate for a 45 percent
decline in refining margins.
The company is in the process of selling a large part of its
LNG assets to Shell for $6.7 billion. That deal is expected to
be finalised by the end of the year.
Repsol's CCS earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose
4.6 percent to 979 million euros in the quarter against a poll
average of 944 million.
Net borrowing totalled 6.32 billion euros at June 30,
including a preference share issue - treated as debt for
accounting purposes - but excluding borrowings related to the
stake in Gas Natural.
Repsol has not yet received compensation from Argentina for
the nationalization of YPF. It continues to pursue legal action
after unofficial talks over a severance package ended without an
agreement last month.
Still, its shares have risen around 50 percent over the past
year, slightly outperforming the sector to reach the levels the
stock was trading at before the expropriation.
At 1345 GMT, Repsol shares were up 0.3 percent at 17.4
euros, wile Gas Natural's were up 0.5 percent at 14.995 euros.
Among other European integrated oil companies, Statoil
missed second-quarter expectations on Thursday.
Peers BP, Eni and Royal Dutch Shell are due
to release second-quarter results next week.
($1 = 0.7555 euros)
(Editing by Mark Potter and David Holmes)