Friday, October 31, 2008
Gazprom, Eni, Enel agree to develop Russian assets
MOSCOW, October 30 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom, Italian electricity company Eni, and oil and gas giant Enel have agreed to develop Italian assets in Russia, the Russian energy giant said on Thursday. Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni, Enel CEO Fulvio Conti and Gazprom chief Alexei Miller met in Rome to agree on further implementation of the partnership between the three companies. The parties signed agreements to develop the Russian assets of Arctic Gas and Urengoil. Eni and Enel acquired the northwest Siberian deposits in 2007 through liquidation auctions of the now defunct Russian oil company Yukos. For this purpose, the Italian companies invested $852 million in April 2007 in setting up a joint venture, SeverEnergia (formerly Enineftegaz), 60% owned by Eni and 40% by Enel. Moreover, Gazprom signed further agreements undertaking commitments to acquire a stake in SeverEnergia, as established by the 2006 strategic agreement. "Eni, Enel and Gazprom will immediately work towards having the asset development plans approved together with the consequent adjustment of the mineral licenses," the Italian companies said in their news releases. Italy's natural gas market is the third largest in Europe after the United Kingdom and Germany. Natural gas accounts for more than 30% of the Italian energy balance. Russia and Algeria are the main gas suppliers to the country. Italy is the second largest importer of Russian gas in Europe. The country received almost 22 billon cubic meters of gas from Gazprom in 2007. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet in Moscow on November 6 during bilateral intergovernmental consultations.