DEALTALK-Oil price tumble could accelerate Repsol deal search
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* Oil price slump cuts valuation of potential assets
* Window of opportunity is narrow, analysts say
* Repsol could get "creative", tap market for extra funding
* No deal would be personal failure for chairman
By Jose Elías Rodríguez and Tracy Rucinski
MADRID, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Spanish oil firm Repsol is set to accelerate a $10 billion acquisition drive to take advantage of lower U.S. shale valuations in the face of falling oil prices and eventually fill a gap left by the 2012 seizure of its Argentine business.
The cash-rich group has been on the hunt for oil and gas assets for months as it tries to reduce its heavy exposure to conflict-ridden regions such as Libya and Venezuela and to protect itself from any takeover bid from bigger international competitors.
After failed attempts at deals with Talisman and Pacific Rubiales of Canada and Norway's Marathon Oil , it continues to pursue oil and gas targets in OECD countries that offer a 7 or 8 percent investment return, sources familiar with the matter said. Continued...