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26

Italain Oil Major To Cooperate With Russian Gas Monopoly

Eni SpA and Gazprom may jointly buy stakes in Russian oil and gas companies

Italian oil and gas giant Eni SpA and Russia?s natural gas monopoly Gazprom may jointly buy stakes in Russian oil and gas companies as part of a wide-ranging alliance, Mosnews.com reported.

On Thursday, Nov. 17, Eni chief executive Paolo Scaroni said that the two groups could sign a memorandum of understanding in a couple of weeks. Scaroni spoke after a meeting with the top managers of Gazprom.

According to the Italian newspaper, the companies could also jointly develop oil and gas fields in Siberia, study joint exploration and production programs in third countries, invest in the Turkish gas market, study the building of a plant for production of liquefied gas in Russia and of re-gasification sites in the United Sates.

Gazprom could also take a stake in Eni?s electricity unit Enipower and gas distribution business in Europe, it said.

Gazprom and Eni cooperated in the construction of the Blue Stream gas pipeline that went from southern Russian territories, under the Black Sea and on to the Turkish port of Samsun. Eni was responsible for the construction of the marine part of the pipeline.

The two companies have also signed an agreement that would allow Gazprom to sell 10 percent of all natural gas consumed in Italy directly, but Italian anti-monopoly authorities have halted the agreement saying that it works against their plans to make the gas industry in the country more competitive. Eni and Gazprom are now re-working the conditions of the agreement.