UPDATE 1-Repsol considers US or Canadian oil and gas acquisition - WSJ
* Ready to spend $5-10 billion on North American deal - WSJ
* Analysts say may sell Gas Natural before any big purchase
* Shares flat at 18.5 euros
MADRID, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Spanish oil company Repsol is ready to spend between $5 billion and $10 billion on a U.S. or Canadian exploration and production company, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday,
Repsol has told investment bankers in recent months of its plans and has a preference for a company that produces more oil than natural gas, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with the talks.
Repsol declined to comment.
Repsol's sale of liquefied natural gas assets to Royal Dutch Shell, due to close later this year, will bring in $4.4 billion before taxes for the firm.
The company has also said it is considering selling its 30 percent stake in utility Gas Natural Fenosa, worth about 4.5 billion euros at current market prices.
Repsol could use the proceeds from the potential sale of Gas Natural to strengthen its growing exploration and production business. Continued...