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Origins and history 

Galp's history spans three centuries and is closely linked to Portugal's industrial development. To know the history of Galp is to understand better the recent path of the Portuguese economy

The Galp's group of companies is unparalleled in Portugal. The companies that compose it have, by creating and exploiting new opportunities, contributed to Galp's current status as an integrated multi-energy operator. Galp's diversified business portfolio reflects the multiple skills it has developed over time.


The origins of Galp, under a different name at the time, date back to the 19th century. In 1846, Lisbon began to be lit by the first gas-fired lamps. From gas-fired lighting, to petroleum and natural gas, many years elapsed of technical, economic and social development. Just as these new sources of energy developed, several companies - CRGE, Sonap, Sacor, Cidla, SPP and Petrosul - were born that eventually defined the path of the Portuguese energy sector and later gave rise to Galp.


Galp was established on 22 April 1999 under the name of GALP - Petróleos e Gás de Portugal, SGPS, S.A. for the purpose of operating in the oil and natural gas businesses after the Portuguese energy sector was restructured. Galp then combined Petrogal, Portugal's sole refiner and the main distributor of oil products, and Gás de Portugal, the company importing natural gas into Portugal and transporting and distributing it domestically.

Milestones in the history of Galp

The first refinery in Portugal opens

In 1940, SACOR opened the first Portuguese refinery just outside Lisbon with a capacity to supply 50% of market needs by producing close to 300 thousand tonnes/year. Following the launch of the Sines industrial compound in 1971, SONAP-CUF (Petrosul) was awarded the construction of a refinery and a petrochemical plant.



Exploration and production starts

In 1977, Petrogal set up a research and production department for the purpose of entering into concession areas in the Portuguese onshore and appraising opportunities in oil research in Angola.




The Galp brand is launched

In 1976, Petrogal set out to define the brand and the corporate symbol. The Galp trademark was chosen and the G symbol was launched in 1978.





The Portuguese natural gas market is set up

In 1989, following the overhaul of Portugal's energy policy, GDP - Gás de Portugal, SA is set up with a mission to supply natural gas to the country. The project starts in 1994 with the construction of the 350km-long high-pressure gas pipeline trunk between Setúbal and Braga.



Galp Energia is formed

In 1999, Galp Energia, a company wholly owned by the Portuguese state, is set up to combine the businesses of Petrogal and GDP and operate as the vehicle for restructuring the Portuguese oil and natural gas sectors. In the same year, Galp starts to be privatised as new shares in the Company are sold to Petrocontrol, EDP, Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Portgás and Setgás. 



Largest oil discovery of the last 40 years

In 2007, recoverable volumes from the Tupi discovery in the Santos Basin's block BM-S-11 in Brazil are confirmed to range between 5 and 8 bn boe of oil and natural gas, turning this discovery into the largest in the last fourty years.




Commercial production starts in Lula and Iracema

In December 2010, the contractor group filled in the declaration of commerciality of the light oil and gas accumulations in Lula and Iracema. The total recoverable volumes from these fields are of 8.3 bn boe. The development of the Lula/Iracemaarea will be executed according to best practices, rigorously complying with regulations applicable to operational and environmental safety planning.


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Last update: 31 Mar 2017

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