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ENI to Help Gazprom Expand in Europe

"We are ready to be Gazprom's partner," Scaroni said.

Russian state gas monopoly Gazprom and Italian energy giant ENI are in talks to build a $2.5 billion natural gas liquefaction plant near Saint Petersburg, said ENI CEO Paolo Scaroni, reported the Agence France-Presse.

?At the present time we are discussing with Gazprom building a natural gas liquefaction plant close to Saint Petersburg with a capacity of eight billion cubic meters of gas per year,? Scaroni said.

Scaroni, however, said that Gazprom access to the Italian market would depend on ENI receiving access to oil and gas projects in Russia.

Scaroni said ENI was interested in joint liquefied natural gas, or LNG, projects off northwest Russia in the Baltic and Barents seas.

Scaroni said ENI could also help Gazprom's plans to expand in Western Europe, but added that Gazprom ?is still a young company, and it has to muster up a little patience.?