Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Romania Petrom buys local firm's oil services unit

BUCHAREST, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Romania's top oil and gas firm Petrom (SNPP.BX: Quote, Profile, Research), controlled by Austria's OMV (OMVV.VI: Quote, Profile, Research), said on Tuesday it signed a deal to buy the oil services unit of local firm Petromservice for 328.5 million euros ($455 million).

Petrom said it expected the deal, which needs clearance from European Union newcomer Romania's competition watchdog, to be finalised at the start of 2008.

"This will allow us to undertake a large modernisation process of oil services, in order to increase quality and efficiency," Petrom Chief Executive Mariana Gheorghe said in a statement.

"This step will therefore enable us to achieve better results and our strategic objectives in the Exploration & Production division."

Petromservice's oil services unit, which will be integrated into Petrom's E&P division, includes movable assets, accessories, inventories, buildings and land. It will help stabilise oil and gas production and reduce costs, Petrom said.

Roughly 90 million euros will be invested in the coming years on technological and infrastructure upgrades.

Petromservices used to be a part of Petrom, but was separated before its sale to OMV.

On Tuesday, Petrom shares closed at 0.5000 lei ($0.205), down 1 percent from Monday's 0.5050 lei and compared with a year high of 0.6200 hit at the start of 2007.

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