Italian energy company Eni SpA is willing to talk to OAO Gazprom about a natural gas deal in Mozambique, although there has been no interest expressed by the Russia behemoth, Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said Wednesday.
When ask to comment on speculation about interest from the Russian company, Mr. Scaroni said: "This is news to us especially considering how much gas Gazprom has of its own."
Mr. Scaroni told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Ravenna, northern Italy: "In the search for a partner in the Mamba [field] in Mozambique, we will listen to them [Gazprom], talk to them," referring to the excellent relationship between the two companies. Eni is Gazprom's biggest international corporate buyer of its gas.
Gazprom is interested in a stake in Eni's project in Mozambique but hasn't made an offer yet, said Sergei Kuprianov, a spokesman for the Russian company. He added that discussions are ongoing.
Last week, Eni agreed to sell a 20% stake in its 70% holding to China National Petroleum Corp. for $4.21 billion in a giant offshore gas asset in Mozambique.
Eni has said it has found reserves of 75 trillion cubic feet in the Mozambique field. According to Bernstein Research this amount corresponds to four years of total European gas demand. It is Eni's largest gas find.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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