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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Eni Offers Gazprom an Inroad

Itar-TassRyazanov speaking to reporters Tuesday. He said UES could use other fuels.
Italian energy group Eni will offer to help Russian companies, including Gazprom, expand in Italy in return for access to production and exploration resources in Russia, including heavy oil assets, Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni said Tuesday at a conference in Moscow.

Scaroni said Eni could help ease Russian firms' access to European gas and electricity markets and would discuss three or four projects of mutual interest with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller in talks later Tuesday.

"We're interested in a partnership in exploration and development of heavy fields and deposits,'' Scaroni said.

"We're talking about investment we can provide in terms of technology to make it possible to fully process and refine heavy oil.''

Eni wants to take a stake in Gazprom's Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field. In return for a stake, Gazprom is expected to ask for a piece of Eni's Italian gas distribution business. Eni and Gazprom have been in talks since October, when they scrapped an accord that would have given Gazprom direct access to Italian clients for the first time.

In its discussions with Gazprom on Tuesday, Eni also wanted to upgrade Russian pipelines, Scaroni said. Gazprom was a "very reliable" supplier of natural gas, he said.

"We could open the Italian gas and electricity markets for Russian companies and could also jointly enter the markets of other countries that are of interest to both sides, as already happened with Turkey," Scaroni said.