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North Africa Oil & Gas Summit

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Repsol at North Africa Oil & Gas Summit: Crucial for Energy Panorama That Europe Increase Its Involvement in North Africa

Madrid, Spain, October 24, 2011 --( European countries may need to increase their involvement within the internal sustainable development of North African countries to maintain and improve relations, which are crucial in the European energy panorama. This is according to Ferdinando Rigardo, Repsol’s Regional Executive Director Europe, Asia & Africa. He was speaking on the eve of the North Africa Oil & Gas Summit which is taking place in Madrid from 25–27 October and will gather senior oil & gas industry executives to discuss investment potential, upcoming licensing rounds and challenges facing the region’s oil and gas industry.

Facing the European market
During the North Africa Oil & Gas Summit the Repsol Executive will address the forum on “North African Gas: Facing the European Market.” Says Ferdinando Rigardo: “As a consequence of recent conflicts and issues with Russian Gas supply, Fukushima earthquake related incident and the current 'Arab Spring,', European countries have dedicated a significant amount of effort to review their energy policies and dependencies. Currently, 27 E.U. member states import 85% of their oil needs and 65% of their natural gas, and is expected that by 2030 those figures will increase to 95% and 85% respectively. Alternative energy sources and securing current gas supplies become a primary issue. Even topics about the 'Solar Summer' in North African countries after the 'Arab Spring' have been brought back into the scenarios, even though it would be a complex and long term solution to be further analyzed.”

Opportunity to build strong and win-win projects
He continues: “regarding natural gas, 26% of European consumption comes from Russia and about 15% from North African countries, mainly Algeria with 12%. This is an opportunity to build strong and win-win projects with North African countries.”

“On the other hand,” says Repsol’s Ferdinando Rigardo, “a notable part of the GDP of North Africa countries comes from hydrocarbon exports and we can see different realities depending on how the Arab Spring has affected each country individually. The bottom-line is European countries may need to increase their involvement within the internal sustainable development of these countries as to maintain and improve relations, which are crucial in the European energy panorama.”

Important to differentiate each country
REPSOL has had business interests in North Africa for many years. Says Mr Rigardo: “there are several factors responsible for Repsol achieving sustainable growth in North Africa, each factor supporting our short, medium and long term strategy in the Region. The main pillars of this strategy focus on society, employees, government, health, security and environment, cultural and religious respect and financial efficiency.”

He says it is also important to differentiate each country, “even though they are commonly seen as a region, each country has its own culture and Repsol has to adapt its strategy to each country individually.”

High exploration potential in Northern Tunisia
REPSOL was awarded three hydrocarbon exploration licenses in Ras Raknan, Ras Raihan and al-Nathour in Northern Tunisia earlier this year with the state owned ETAP. Says Ferdinando Rigardo: “the Prospecting Permit area acquired by Repsol is approximately 15000 km2 in a complex Thrust Belt zone where the geological risk is quite significant but the prize could be significant also. It is a frontier area which needs better seismic imaging through adequate acquisition and processing technology. The inclusion of these blocks in Repsol´s exploration plans has the importance of high exploration potential associated with proximity to markets in a country with a favorable and stable business environment. Repsol will pursue further evaluation of new areas and opportunities in Tunisia in order to consolidate its presence and growth in the country.”

More speaker highlights at the North Africa Oil & Gas Summit include:

-- Nemesio Fernandez-Cuesta, Executive Vice President Exploration & Production, Repsol
-- Luis Travesedo, Managing Director Exploration & Production, CEPSA
-- Mounir Bouazis, VP Commercial MENA region, SHELL
-- Zalmay Khalilzad, Former US Ambassador to the UN, IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN, Counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

Event dates:
25 October: Shale and tight gas workshop
26-27 October: Conference
Event location: Hotel Melia Castilla, located near to the Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid

Contact Information
North Africa Oil & Gas Summit
Annemarie Roodbol
+27 21 700 3558

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