09/12/2012 10:43 EDT | Updated 11/12/2012 05:12 EST

Canaport LNG among assets Repsol looking to sell to shore up finances

CALGARY - Spanish energy company Repsol isn't denying a report it has received multiple offers for its liquefied natural gas business, which includes a 75 per cent stake in a New Brunswick plant.

Reuters, citing unidentified sources, says at least six companies are in the bidding, including firms from China, Spain, Britain, Russia, and France.

Separately, an executive with Indian company GAIL confirmed to the news agency it is interested in the business.

Repsol spokesman Kristian Rix says the company is looking to sell its LNG business in its entirety, which includes interests in the Canaport LNG facility in Saint John as well as assets in Trinidad and Tobago and Peru.

The move follows the government seizure of Repsol's assets in Argentina earlier this year.

"It has forced us to shore up our finances and forced us to consider selling an asset which otherwise we wouldn't have wanted to sell," Rix said in an interview from Madrid.

"It's a good business and we think we can extract value from it, which unfortunately we're having to do. We'd much rather keep it."

The remaining 25 per cent stake in Canaport LNG is held by Irving Oil.

LNG is natural gas that has been chilled into a liquid state, making it easier to transport in specialized tankers.

Once the LNG cargoes arrive in Saint John, the resource is converted back into a gas and transported by pipeline to various markets in Canada and the Northeastern United States.