| KUWAIT, March 13
KUWAIT, March 13 Angola's Sonangol is in
talks to buy a direct stake in Portugal's Galp Energia
, which holds interests in four oil blocks and a gas
export project offshore Angola, a senior executive from the
state-run African oil company said.
Sonangol is negotiating to buy half of Italian group Eni's
33.3 percent stake in Galp, board member Sebastiao
Gaspar Martins told Reuters on the sidelines of the
International Energy Forum in Kuwait on Tuesday.
Crisis-hit Portugal has been courting investment from its
oil-rich former colony in a bid to revive its flagging economy.
Sonangol holds a 15 percent indirect stake in Galp through
its 45 percent stake in Portugal's Amorim Energia, which
controls a third of Galp, but wants a direct stake.
"We are working on that deal," Martins said.
"We will go ahead ... I think the deal will be done," he
said when asked if Sonangol is talks to buy half of Eni's stake.
Eni declined to comment.
Portuguese business newspaper Diario Economico said last
week that negotiations were under way and the sale could be
agreed in March.
The Portuguese government also plans to sell its 7 percent
stake in Galp this year under a privatisation programme dictated
by the terms of an international bailout package.
Angola is an increasingly important part of Galp's growth
strategy, with the Chevron -operated block 14 located 80
km off the coast of the south west African country the only
asset currently producing oil for Galp in Angola.
Galp also has oil interests in Brazil where it partners
Petrobras in 20 projects spread over seven basins,
according to the company's website.
In November, Chinese state-owned oil company Sinopec Group
agreed to pay $3.5 billion for a 30 percent stake in
Galp's Brazilian unit.
Galp is mostly a refiner and a relative newcomer in the
world of big oil.
(Additional reporting by Stephen Jewkes in Milan and Daniel
Fineren in Dubai; Writing by Daniel Fineren; Editing by Erica