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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gazprom Eyes Stake in Portuguese Firm

ReutersFirst Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller at a Kremlin meeting on Wednesday.
MADRID -- Galp Energia, Portugal's biggest oil company, says gas producer Gazprom is in talks about owning a stake in a venture that holds one-third of Galp.

The Amorim Group and Sonangol of Angola are in discussions with Gazprom about the Russian monopoly taking a stake in Amorim Energia, owner of 33 percent of the Portuguese oil company, Galp CEO Manuel Ferreira de Oliveira said. Portuguese holding company Amorim would keep a majority stake in the venture, which is partly owned by Sonangol.

"If Gazprom becomes a shareholder of Amorim Energia, we will most likely try to see whether we can develop some synergies with Gazprom," Galp's Ferreira de Oliveira said in a presentation. "Let's wait and see."

Galp plans to target countries including Angola and Brazil to increase reserves after lagging behind many of its European competitors in expanding into exploration and production. It still gets about 90 percent of its revenue from refining and selling gasoline and other petroleum products.

"At this moment, we don't have commercial relationships with Gazprom," Ferreira de Oliveira said. "We hope we are able to develop them."

"We are an ambitious but realistic company," Ferreira de Oliveira said. "We know that our ambitions are limited by our size, by our financial capabilities. But we never refuse to look and study opportunities."

On Wednesday, Galp said fourth-quarter net income climbed 25 percent to 32 million euros ($42 million) after it increased production and depreciation costs fell. As of Dec. 31, Galp's proven reserves totaled 35.7 million barrels of crude oil.