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Spain-based Repsol uses crude prices windfall to expand renewables, slash debt

By Renzo Pipoli
Spain-based Repsol uses crude prices windfall to expand renewables, slash debt
Spain-based Repsol's headquarters. The company increased its worldwide production of oil and gas by 4 percent. Photo courtesy of Repsol.

Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Spain-based Repsol said Wednesday in its January-September report that it increased its worldwide production of oil and gas by 4 percent, using the windfall from higher crude oil prices to expand renewables and slash debt.

The increase in production from the same period in 2017 resulted in average output of 713,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. "This growth was supported by the startup of projects in Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, Algeria, Peru and Malaysia," it said.

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Rising crude oil prices, on average about 38 percent higher than last year, helped its upstream unit -the part of the business related to extraction activities-to more than double revenue to over $1.1 billion. Revenue from its downstream units, the business that includes fuel or chemical distribution, was slightly higher.

The company decreased its net debt to $2.6 billion as of September, 63 percent lower than the end of 2017.

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Repsol expects to complete in November the acquisition of the "non-regulated, low-emissions electricity generation businesses" from Spain-based Viesgo, as well as its gas and electricity distributor to achieve a total installed capacity of 2,950 megawatts.

In the third quarter, Repsol also acquired the Valdesolar photovoltaic project in Badajoz, Spain, that will add 264 megawatts. In October, it completed construction of an offshore wind farm in Portugal with 25 megawatts of capacity.

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"With these additions, Repsol will have achieved more than 70 percent of its strategic objective for low-emissions generation capacity of 4,500 MW by 2025," the company said.

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Repsol continued its expansion in Mexico and now has over 120 service stations following "just over six months of development of its long-term project, through which the company aims to achieve an 8-10 percent share in the Mexican market within the next five years."

Mexico in recent years opened its hydrocarbon industry, including fuel retailing, to foreign companies as part of a reform started in 2013, making this possible.

Investment in downstream activities -- fuel and chemicals distribution -- in the first nine months of the year was $634 million, $130 million more than a year ago. Investing in upstream -- exploration and extraction -- was $1.6 billion, or $57 million more than a year ago.

The company also stressed its accord to supply Venture Global LNG, a company developing LNG export facilities in the U.S. state of Louisiana, for a 20-year period.

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