Zagreb, June 21 - Neftegaz.RU. Croatia's INA - which is majority owned by Hungary's MOL - agreed to buy Eni's upstream subsidiary in Croatia, paving the way for INA to invest more in the development of its offshore gas assets in the Adriatic Sea, Platts reported.
Croatia is a modest gas producer with output of some 1.3 Bcm/year - covering a little under 50% of the country's current gas demand - but there remains untapped potential in its offshore. INA and Eni operated 2 field areas - Northern Adriatic and Marica - under a 50-50 joint venture.
Under the deal announced on June 19, INA will become the 100% owner and sole operator of Northern Adriatic and Marica after all conditions are fulfilled. These include receiving clearance from the antitrust authorities, which is expected in the coming months, it said.
Being the sole operator will also allow INA to carry out further investment in the Northern Adriatic and Marica areas, it said. Following the transaction, all gas produced in the Northern Adriatic concession area will be directed towards the Croatian supply system.
The gas produced in the Marica area will continue to be transported to Italy, under a gas sales contract signed by INA and Eni. The transaction, INA said, covers 4.3 million boe of proven and probable reserves and would increase production by around 2,500 boe/d - 0.4 million cu m/d.
As well as producing around 1.3 Bcm/year, Croatia imports gas from Russia. In September last year, Gazprom signed a 10-year deal with Croatian utility Prvo Plinarsko Drustvo (PPD) for the supply of 1 Bcm/year of Russian gas.
Croatia is also planning to install a 2.6 million mt/year LNG import facility on the island of Krk, though the long-delayed project is still only in the planning stage, with no FID taken to date.
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