April 29, 2014 / 12:40 PM / 4 years ago

Poland's Lotos in talks to buy more upstream oil assets in Norway

WARSAW, April 29 (Reuters) - Poland’s No.2 oil refiner, Grupa Lotos is in talks to buy more upstream assets, mainly in Norway, to strengthen its ability to generate profits amid squeezed refinery margins, its deputy CEO Zbigniew Paszkowski said on Tuesday.

The state-controlled group reported a net loss of 32.37 million zlotys ($11 million) in the first quarter, lower than expected as its upstream Norwegian assets helped mitigate the impact of low refining margins, it said earlier.

“We are in talks to buy upstream assets, even more than with one seller ... Geographically this concerns mainly Norway,” Paszkowski told reporters.

“If we’re talking about the cost, one can estimate that it would be a sum that is similar to the money we’ve spent on Heimdal,” Paszkowski told reporters.

Last year, Lotos agreed to buy shares in 14 oil and gas licences off the coast of Norway - the so-called Heimdal assets - for $176 million to boost production and diversify its upstream operations.

$1 = 3.0391 Polish Zlotys Reporting by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Michael Kahn and Mark Potter

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