Eni has been awarded the license for offshore exploration Block S-M-857, located on the coast of Sao Paulo. The block is part of the international tender "Octava Rodada", promoted by the Brazilian Government, and lies in the Santos hydrocarbon basin at an average water depth of 1,750 meters.
Among those offered, Block S-M-857 has attracted very strong international competition, confirming its good exploration potential within the Santos basin, which is currently one of the most prolific in Brazil. In the same area the Belmonte 1 discovery well has been completed by Eni at the end of 2005.
The award of the exploration license Block S-M-857 is consistent with Eni's strategy to operate in the world most challenging but promising exploration areas, where the company can successfully utilize its advanced exploration and production technology. During the course of next year Eni plans to drill two wells in Belmonte to complete the evaluation and proceed with its production development.
Eni holds 3 other exploration permits in Brazil. During 2006 Eni became operator of Block BM-CAL-14, covering approximately 750 square kilometers in deep and ultra-deep waters; Eni is also operator of Block BM-S-4 and has a 40%interest in Block BM-C-3 that has been converted into an evaluation area.
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