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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Eni CEO in Russia, meets deputy PM, Gazprom chief

MILAN, March 24 (Reuters by Stephen Jewkes) - The chief executive of Italian oil company Eni SpA (ENI.MI) met Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin on Tuesday and is meeting Gazprom (GAZP.MM) Chairman Alexei Miller, company sources said. Eni and Gazprom have joint operations and meet periodically. Gazprom has a call option on a 20 percent stake held by Eni in Gazpromneft which expires in April and has been valued at about $4.3 billion. A Gazprom source said Eni Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni was meeting Miller, but would not disclose the subject of their conversation. Scaroni earlier met Sechin, another company source said. The meetings came as Russia broke off talks with Ukraine after Kiev angered the Kremlin by asking the European Union to modernise its pipeline network. The grid carries 80 percent of Russian gas supplies to Europe.

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