Eni Acquires 32 New Exploration Licenses in GOM

Eni has been awarded 32 new exploration licenses in the US Gulf of Mexico (GoM) at Lease Sales 206 and 224, held in New Orleans on 19 March, 2008. The award is subject to approval by government authorities.

The Lease Sale 206 was the most competitive in US leasing history, with more than $3.7 billion received in winning bids, and the participation of 85 companies, including all oil majors. Eni's winning bids totaled approximately $114 million.

All the new leases are located in Eni's core exploration areas in GoM (11 in the Shelf and 21 in Deepwater) and show great potential. Out of the 32 leases for which Eni was the highest bidder, 17 were joint bids with various partners and the remaining 15 were bid for solely by Eni, who will be operator for all of the licenses.

Eni's increased lease sale activity in the GoM is consistent with the company's growth strategy in the region. In addition, by targeting and securing leases close to its existing operations, leveraging on its technical expertise and reflecting the successful integration of Dominion's asset in the region, Eni will continue to take advantage of many significant operational synergies.

In the US, Eni currently owns lease interests in 408 GoM blocks, 70% of which are in deepwater, and is among the key GoM producers with a daily equity production in excess of 110,000 boe, of which 60% is operated. In addition, Eni also owns lease interests in 158 licenses in the North Slope of Alaska.