Eni Looking to Iraqi Oilfields

Eni is very interested in the situation in Iraq and have an eye out for the oilfields in the southern province of Nassirya. "We know the (Nassirya) area very well. We have the technology and expertise needed to develop those (oil) fields, together with the Iraqis," Chief Executive Vittorio Mincato told a shareholder meeting. The CEO cautioned that the current political and economic situation was not conducive to long-term investing and he wants to make sure that there will be a return on investment in the future.

He said Iraq needs huge investments. "We have invested some $5 billion in (the Caspian project) Kashagan. In Iraq the figure would be similar." There is speculation that ENI and Repsol-YPF could be jointly awarded a contract for Nassirya. EnI declined to comment on the speculation. Mincato said any investments won't be made in the short term. "I believe there won't be anything concrete earlier than a year from now," he said.