Safety Top Priority, but Eni Wants Back in Iraq

Italian news media reported that Eni SpA CEO Paolo Scaroni would like to return to Iraq, but only when the country is safe enough for operations.

"What we know for sure is that Iraq produces 1.5 million barrels a day, and it could be producing 5 million," said Scaroni. "I am certain we will return to Iraq, but only with the necessary safety for our workforce.

"We are looking at Iraq as an opportunity."

Eni and Qatar Petroleum signed a memorandum of understanding April 20 to join forces for future international opportunities in exploration and production.

On April 14, Eni was one of 35 companies named by the Iraqi government as "qualified IOCs." The listing opens up opportunities for future oil and gas bids in energy-rich Iraq.