Eni signed a deal with Quicksilver Resources to evaluate, explore and develop shale oil resources in the Leon Valley in west Texas.
Quicksilver said in a separate statement the Italian company agreed to pay $52 million and pay all of the costs associated with drilling in its 52,500 gross acre license area in Texas.
Eni said the agreement calls for a seismic survey of the area to get a better understanding of the resource potential. It plans to drill as many as five exploration wells in the Delaware oil basin as part of its agreement with Quicksilver.
Eni said the current level of oil produced from conventional and shale oil reservoirs in the region is nearly 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
"It is estimated that within five years the Delaware Basin production will double, due to the rapid growth of oil production from unconventional reservoirs," the company said in a statement.