June 16, 2020 / 8:15 PM / 2 months ago

Portugal's Galp partially resumes production at Sines refinery

LISBON, June 16 (Reuters) - Portugal’s Galp Energia (GALP.LS) partially resumed production at its Sines refinery on Tuesday, the company said, after a lack of storage space for unused fuel amid a drastic drop in demand because of the coronavirus outbreak brought it to a halt.

Galp suspended output at its Sines refinery on May 4 and its smaller refinery in Matosinhos on April 10 and with it all of its domestic oil and gas operations that make up 20% of refining capacity in Iberia.

On Tuesday, a spokesman said the company was gradually resuming production as planned.

“Galp will continue to monitor the evolution of the national, Iberian and international markets to adjust its refineries to the challenging and uncertain global context,” the spokesman said.

Galp reported a 72% slump in first-quarter net profit as sales of oil products fell around 13% due to government-imposed lockdowns which confined people to their homes in both Portugal and Spain.

Still, Portugal’s lockdown imposed on March 18 has largely been lifted, with Spain loosening restrictions region by region.

Demand for gas has fallen by 21.1% in Portugal since the beginning of the year, the Association of Petroleum Companies told news agency Lusa. (Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, Sergio Goncalves, Editing by Catarina Demony and Grant McCool)

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