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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prodi Plans Meeting on Kashagan

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said he was planning a trip to meet leaders of Kazakhstan, where he would seek an agreement to allow Eni to continue its work in the Kashagan field, the largest oil discovery in 30 years.

"There are some unforeseen technical difficulties, but we will work specifically on these to find an agreement," Prodi said Thursday in Novellara, Italy.

His comments, reported by Italian news agency ANSA, were confirmed by his spokesman, Silvio Sircana.

"I'm preparing this trip with extreme care, not only with Eni's management but also at the political level," Prodi said.

On Tuesday, Kazakhstan's government, which has accused Eni of environmental violations, demanded that the company cede a bigger stake in the Kashagan project to the Kazakh state or face the prospect of having its work halted.

Kazakhstan said July 30 that costs at the Kashagan project had more than doubled to $136 billion, prompting the government to consider revising the Italian company's contract.

Prodi's trip is planned for the first half of October, though no specific date has been set, Sircana said.