Italy’s ENI has 40 pct stake in Angola’s bloc 15 and searches for partners

24 April 2006

Rome, Italy, 24 April – Italian oil company ENI will have up to a 40 percent stake in the consortium that will explore the remaining parts of Bloc 15 of Angola’s offshore, which is to be granted by Angolan state oil company, Sonangol, ENI’s chairman said in Rome Friday.

Paolo Scaroni, cited by news agencies, also said that ENI (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi) was negotiating with other oil companies to set up a partnership.

“The process for deciding who will be the operator and who will be the partner is still underway, and for now it’s not possible to give an answer,” said Scaroni.

At the beginning of the month ENI offered 900 million euros for the exploration rights of the virgin areas of Bloc 15, launched under public tender by the Angolan authorities, and will thus have to pay 360 million euros for the maximums take, Scaroni said.

“We are optimistic, simply because we are offering the most,” Scaroni said of Eni, which faces nine competing proposals for the new areas of Bloc 15.

ENI currently operates Bloc 1, in shallow waters, which is contiguous with Bloc 15, which is operated by US company Exxon Mobil.

The oil fields currently in production in Bloc 15 – Xikomba and Kizomba A and B – have daily production of some 500,000 barrels of oil.

Sonangol has also alunched a tender for the exploration rights to three other offshore blocs – 17, 18 and 26 – and three shallow water bloc – 1, 5 and 6.

A total of 21 proposals have been received, with process reaching world records, according to Sonangol and winners will be announced in May.

Angola is currently the second largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, with daily production of around 1.4 million barrels. (macauhub)