Galp oil output soars, refining slips on stoppages, recession

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SummaryIts output soared 36 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 from a year earlier.

Portuguese fuel and oil company Galp's crude output soared 36 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 from a year earlier, but the amount of oil it processed and sales of refined products fell due to maintenance and weak domestic market.

Galp said on Monday its net entitlement production from overseas projects where it has stakes rose to 17,700 barrels per day. That was 10 per cent lower than in the previous quarter.

The company, mainly a refiner, has a 10 per cent interest in Brazil's giant Lula/Tupi field that has ramped up production since 2011, and is a partner in other prolific Brazilian projects. It also operates in Angola and Mozambique.

Galp aims to triple its oil output by 2015.

Still, Galp refined 10 per cent less crude in the fourth quarter than a year ago, or 18.8 million barrels, at its two refineries in Portugal. Analysts said maintenance stoppages and market conditions in Portugal, which is in its worst recession since the 1970s, affected Galp's refining volumes and sales.

Galp did not provide a figure for total sales of refined products, but said sales to direct clients fell almost 9 per cent from a year earlier to 2.4 million tonnes, while exports dropped 4.8 per cent to some 800,000 tonnes.

Galp's natural gas sales rose 10 per cent from a year earlier to 1.56 billion cubic metres and electricity sales to the grid edged up 3 per cent to 345 gigawatt hours.

The company is set to report quarterly earnings on Feb. 11.

Its shares were flat at 12.08 euros in early trade on Monday, underperforming the broader market in Lisbon, up 0.4 percent.

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