CAIRO May 10, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)
Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company, will invest $12 billion to boost its Egyptian natural gas operations over the next five years, Egypt's oil ministry said Thursday.
Egypt, with proven gas reserves of 58.5 trillion cubic feet, or 1% of world stocks, is a key energy supplier to the Mediterranean rim countries and the Levant.
Eni also plans to increase its oil reserves in the onshore Belayim field, located in the Gulf of Suez by 180 million barrels over the next 12 years, according to a statement by Egypt's Ministry of Petroleum.
The increase in the field's reserves will be worth $9 billion of which Egypt's share would amount to as much as $6 million, according to the statement.
The new plans were announced during a meeting between Egypt's oil minister Sameh Fahmy and Antonio Villa, Eni's vice president for the Middle East and North Africa to discuss the company's strategy in Egypt.
San Donato, Milan-based Eni produces more than half a million barrels a day of natural gas, crude oil and condensates in Egypt, according to the Egyptian government statement.
The company operates the Belayim field through a joint venture agreement with the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, or EGPC.
Eni also has a joint-venture with EGPC to extract oil from the Western Desert in the Meleiha and West Razzaq blocks in the Qattara depression.
The International Egyptian Oil Company, a subsidiary of Eni, is Egypt's leading natural gas producer. It operates in the Gulf of Suez, the Nile Delta and the Western Desert. Together with Union Fenosa, Eni is a major shareholder in Egypt's Damietta Liquified Natural Gas train.
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