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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Enel Sees Higher Russian Gas Reserves

Enel CEO Fulvio Conti said Russian energy assets that the Italian utility bought this year might hold more natural gas than previously estimated.

"Geological data show that the gas is accessible and that the reserves are more than expected," Conti said Thursday in Cernobbio, Italy, where he was attending an annual gathering of political, economic and business leaders.

Conti did not provide reserve figures and said the first geological data would be ready in the middle of next year. When Enel and Italian oil company Eni jointly won the assets in April, they said reserves were 5 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Enel is spending about 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion) to build its Russian business, including gas extraction, gas-fired power generation and electricity distribution.

Enel and Eni jointly paid $5.9 billion for assets of bankrupt Yukos, including a stake in Gazprom Neft. Gazprom has an option to buy back control of the assets.