Galp Raised Output in Fourth Quarter, Processed Less Crude

Galp Energia SGPS SA, Portugal’s biggest oil company, increased output in the fourth quarter as it develops projects in Brazil.

Average working-interest production rose 8.5 percent from a year earlier to 23,400 barrels a day, Lisbon-based Galp said today in a regulatory filing. Average net entitlement output, which includes the effect of production-sharing agreements, climbed 36 percent to 17,700 barrels a day.

Galp plans to invest 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) a year from 2013 to 2016 as it explores Brazil’s offshore Santos Basin, where its Lula project is located, and in Angola. At the same time, the producer is seeking to curb dependence on refining and fuel sales in Portugal and Spain.

The Portuguese explorer plans to exceed 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in working-interest production by 2020. It has stakes in four offshore blocks in the Santos Basin, including 10 percent of Lula, the largest find in the Americas since Mexico’s Cantarell field in 1976.

The company processed 10 percent less crude in the fourth quarter than a year earlier. Galp said in October that some units at its refineries had halted after workers went on strike.

The benchmark refining margin, a measure of profit from turning a barrel of crude into fuels, was $1.40 a barrel, compared with a negative margin of 60 cents a year earlier, Galp said. Sales to direct clients dropped 8.7 percent to 2.4 million metric tons.

The company has invested in refinery upgrades in Oporto and Sines to increase diesel production. Galp’s plant in Oporto can process about 90,000 barrels a day, while the Sines facility has a 220,000-barrel-a-day capacity. The hydrocracker at Sines started commercial production on Jan. 10, Galp said on Jan. 16.

Natural-gas sales climbed 10.1 percent to 1.56 billion cubic meters in the period.

Galp is due to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 11.

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