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EU windfall tax sows 'seed of doubt' for fossil fuel company investments-Repsol CEO

Repsol CEO Josu Jon Imaz delivers a speech during the annual shareholders meeting in Madrid

MADRID (Reuters) - The European Union's temporary windfall tax on profits earned by fossil fuel companies "creates a seed of doubt" over their ability to invest in the sector, Repsol's Chief Executive Officer Josu Jon Imaz said on Thursday.

Speaking in a call with analysts, Imaz said that the Spanish oil and gas group was evaluating opportunities to shift some of its investing towards the United States.

"Sometimes, the European policymakers' approach is focused on banning and the American ones are focused on encouraging and giving opportunities under the principle of the technological neutrality," Imaz said.

The European Commission in September approved a temporary windfall tax as energy companies benefited from a surge in oil and gas prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

Commenting on the natural gas supply crisis faced by Europe, Imaz said diesel fuel was becoming a "competitive substitute" for gas that could be used both for heating and power generation purposes.

Repsol earlier said it will raise its dividend and buy back more shares than previously announced after third-quarter net profit doubled.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Writing by David Latona; Editing by Jan Harvey, Kirsten Donovan and Jane Merriman)