The Block 15 exploration area is known to be highly prospective and there was a high level of competition to enter the acreage. A total of fourteen bids were received for the Block and Eni is one of seven companies expected to form the joint venture, which will advance the exploration and development work program in the area.
The Block award will provide Eni with access to significant new reserves, and the Operatorship will allow the Company to leverage on the deepwater experience it has gained through its participation in the adjacent, prolific Block 15 production area (where it holds a 20% interest). This success will also mark a step change in Eni's business presence in the country, improving its ability to capture new investment opportunities and to exploit local operating synergies.
The award will reinforce Eni's commitment to deepwater developments. The technological complexity of these frontier projects requires specific skills and expertise that are key factors in the Company's success.
This is a significant win for Eni's growth in exploration and production. Angola, together with Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria and Kazakhstan is one of the world's fastest growing oil producing countries. Eni has identified these countries as strategic for its future growth in oil production.
A strong presence in Angola also represents an important step in Eni's strategy to grow its presence in Portuguese speaking countries, capitalizing on the expertise and knowledge of Galp, the Portuguese oil and gas company in which Eni holds a controlling stake.
Eni first entered Angola in 1980 and has since established a significant production base in the country, where it is currently producing around 160,000 net barrels of oil per day. The production levels are set to rise further, and are expected to reach over 200,000 barrels of oil per day by 2009, as additional deepwater developments are brought on stream.
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