Eni Expands Position Offshore Australia

Eni has signed an agreement to purchase a 30% interest in four exploration blocks in the Exmouth Plateau, offshore Western Australia. The four blocks are located more than 200 km off the west coast of Australia at a maximum water depth of 2,000 meters. The partners in the project are Eni (30%), OMV Australia Ltd (30%) and Albers Group (40%).

The deal gives Eni a substantial acreage position in one of the most prolific gas basins in Australia, confirming its commitment to grow its business in the country.

In exchange for an initial 30% equity stake Eni and OMV will fund a seismic evaluation program on the four blocks. Eni's equity interest will increase to 40% in the event that at least one exploration well is drilled. OMV Australia Ltd will be the Operator during the exploration phase, with Eni operating further development activity, including appraisals and drilling.

Eni has been present in Australia since 2000. In 2006 Eni's net production in the country averaged 26,000 boe/d (barrels of oil equivalent per day). Eni operates the Woollybutt oil field and the Blacktip gas development project, and is also partner in the gas and liquids Bayu Undan field and the Darwin LNG plant.

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