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Soria Sees 20% Chance of Spanish Oil Find Off Lanzarote

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March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Spanish Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said there’s a 20 percent chance that Repsol YPF SA will find oil beneath the Atlantic off the Canary Islands.

Should the ocean bed prove to contain crude, it may produce about 140,000 barrels a day for 20 years, Soria said in an interview on Onda Cero radio station. “There is a high probability,” he said. “We may finally find oil in Spain.”

Repsol plans to drill two wells about 38 miles (61 kilometers) from the coast of Lanzarote and will ensure the operations won’t affect tourist beaches, spokesman Kristian Rix said.

The wells could cover about 10 percent of Spain’s demand for crude, Soria said. The country currently imports 98 percent of the fossil hydrocarbons that it requires. The regional government of the Canaries opposes the plans, arguing that it threatens tourism, El Mundo newspaper reported yesterday.

“Repsol applies the highest standards to all its operations in 30 countries,” Rix said in a phone interview. “We are especially interested in making a Spanish project a success.”

The Spanish government last week passed a law approving Repsol’s drilling plans.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sills in Madrid at bsills@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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