ENI chief meets Iraq's prime minister

Sept. 27, 2011 at 7:45 AM
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BAGHDAD, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Italian energy company ENI, operator of one of the biggest oil fields in Iraq, said it was interested in more operations there after talks with Baghdad leaders.

ENI's Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni met in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to discuss development of the Zubair oil field, one of the largest in the country.

Redevelopment of Zubair will come through a $20 billion investment throughout the life of the 20-year contract Eni said last year after winning the rights to explore the field.

Eni said production at Zubair would reach 1.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day at full capacity. Production at the field last year increased from 183,000 barrels of oil per day to more than 201,000 bpd, which the company said was the minimum needed to trigger cost recovery.

"Maliki expressed his satisfaction with the activities carried out by Eni in Iraq and called for a greater presence of the company in the country," the company said in a statement.

Scaroni added his company was interested in participating in an upcoming bidding round for development of the Nassiriya field.

Iraq estimates the 12 blocks up for auction in January could raise reserve estimates by 10 million barrels of oil and 29 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

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