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Repsol chairman Antonio Brufau has his eye on North America

Madrid-based Repsol SA wants to buy a North American oil company and ride the U.S. energy boom, the Wall Street Journal said Sunday.

The integrated major has set aside $5 billion to $10 billion for a U.S. or Canadian E&P company, the report said.

Repsol didn’t comment.

The WSJ said,

A North American acquisition would help Repsol bolster its presence in stable-market economies. The Spanish company is among the integrated European oil companies most heavily exposed to frontier oil-exploration areas such as Morocco and Sierra Leone, according to a recent Bernstein Research report. Working in those countries carries the promise of more-profitable oil production as well as risks.

Repsol’s shares have climbed 50% over the past year, mainly on oil prices and annual production growth.

It wants a North American acquisition that produces more oil than natural gas, the WSJ said.

Repsol sold most of its LNG business to Royal Dutch Shell for an estimated $4.4 billion. The deal is expected to close before the end of this year..

The firm also plans to sell part or all of a €4.5 billion equity stake in Spain’s utility, Gas Natural SDG SA.

It’s Argentina business, YPF SA, was nationalized in 2012 in a takeover Repsol called illegal.

Repsol already has exploration interests in the Gulf of Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Alaska, the Wall Street Journal said.