Eni Grabs 5 GOM Exploration Licenses for $11MM

Eni has been awarded 5 new exploration licenses in the US Gulf of Mexico at Lease Sale 207, held in New Orleans on August 20, 2008. The award is subject to approval by government authorities.

Lease Sale 207 saw the participation of 53 oil and gas companies, including all the majors. Eni's winning bids totalled approximately $11 million. All the new leases are 100%-owned and operated by Eni and are located in the Keathley Canyon Area, one of the company’s core deepwater exploration areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

The acquisition of these leases further enhances Eni's strong position in the GOM, where Eni's diverse and growing lease portfolio contains promising acreage in all of the key exploration areas.

Eni's continued strong participation in the semi-annual lease sales in the GOM is consistent with the Company's growth strategy in the region. As further evidence of this commitment, Eni recently secured long-term contracts on two deepwater drilling rigs capable of operating in the 1000-3000 meter water depths associated with these, and recently acquired, ultra-deepwater leases.

In the US, Eni currently owns lease interests in 412 GOM blocks, 70% of which are in deepwater, and is among the key GOM producers with a daily equity production capacity in excess of 110,000 boe, of which 60% is operated. In addition, Eni also owns lease interests in 173 licenses in the North Slope of Alaska.