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ENI, Rosneft in Black Sea talks

Sept. 30, 2011 at 6:00 AM

ROME, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Italian energy company ENI and Russia's oil company Rosneft are in talks to examine the potential for oil in the Black Sea, a source close to the matter said.

U.S. supermajor Chevron abandoned the project in June, saying it had reservations about the reserve potential touted by Rosneft. The company was said to be upset with the terms of the venture, arguing it would carry all the exploration costs but have only a 33 percent stake in the operating company.

ENI is now in talks with Rosneft to develop the Shatsky Ridge oil field in the Black Sea, The Wall Street Journal reports. Rosneft claims the field could hold as much as 6 billion barrels of oil.

ENI is also a partner in Russian's natural gas company Gazprom's South Stream pipeline planned for southern Europe.

Exxon Mobil and Rosneft in August signed a sweeping deal, which includes development in parts of the Black Sea and the South Kara Sea in the Russian arctic.

A person close to the matter denied reports that ENI would offer Rosneft a share in its Libyan oil fields in exchange for prospects in the Black Sea.

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