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Eni Expanding Role in Egypt

Eni Expanding Role in EgyptEni Expanding Role in Egypt

Italy's Eni has reached its second agreement in less than a week to explore oil and gas fields in Egypt, as efforts by Cairo to pay foreign oil majors debt attracts investors, UPI reported.

In a statement on Wednesday, Eni said it had signed concession agreements to explore two new blocks in the Egyptian Mediterranean, strengthening its position in a country it views as strategic.

Last Friday Eni said it had signed an agreement to operate the South-West Melehia block in the western desert.

Egypt recently paid $2.1 billion of debt to foreign energy companies in a move aimed at improving the investment climate and easing its worst energy crisis in decades.

The country, which has turned from being an energy exporter to a net importer due to increasing consumption and decreasing production, has delayed payments to oil and gas firms to tackle economic woes triggered by instability after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak. Eni said its two new Egyptian blocks, North Leil and Karawan, were both located in the deepwater Mediterranean offshore, west of the Shorouk block which Eni acquired last year. The Italian state-controlled major owns all of North Leil and 50 percent of Karawan where it partners with BP.

Eni, the biggest foreign oil major in Africa in terms of volumes, has been present in Egypt since 1954 and produces around 210,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

 

Financialtribune.com