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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eni CEO To Go To Russia Wed On South Stream; Still No Deal

05-12-2009 (Dow Jones) -- ROME, Eni SpA (E) Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said Tuesday he will meet with Russian officials Wednesday to seek a deal on the South Stream natural gas pipeline project it has with OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS), as the two energy companies appear to be far from agreement. Scaroni, on the sidelines of a conference in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheik, told reporters he was going to Moscow Wednesday to see if an accord on South Stream could be reached. Scaroni said a deal wasn't close. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is scheduled to meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, Friday in Crimea and may sign an agreement on South Stream. A dispute has erupted between Eni and Russian state-controlled Gazprom over the role the Italian oil company will play in the South Stream gas pipeline, Reuters said last week, citing an unidentified person within the Italian government. The person said Eni wants to be able to market gas from the pipeline in the countries the pipeline will pass through but that Gazprom was only offering the right to bring gas into Italy and a role in managing the pipeline, Reuters wrote. South Stream is a project that aims to carry Russian and Caspian gas to Western Europe via a pipeline under the Black Sea and landing in Bulgaria, so bypassing Ukraine.

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