Russia's Rosneft, ENI Seal Strategic Tie-Up

Companies expect to expand oil field projects in the United States and Europe.

Russia's state oil giant Rosneft signed a strategic partnership agreement with Italy's ENI SpA (IW 1000/14) on Wednesday as it sought to build on the international success of its historic alliance with Exxon Mobil Corp. (IW 1000/1).

ENI chief executive Paolo Scaroni said Rosneft would gain access to some of the Italian firm's European and U.S. projects under an agreement that outlines specific projects in the Barents and Black Seas.

"It is important that we expand our cooperation to projects in the United States and Europe," Russian news agencies quoted the ENI boss as saying at a signing ceremony attended by Russian president-elect Vladimir Putin.

No financial details were immediately announced by either party. But Rosneft chief Eduard Khudainatov said the two firm's joint investments in the fields may eventually reach more than $100 billion.

ENI said the three fields contain an estimated 36 billion barrels of recoverable oil reserves -- the same figure as the Artic projects won by the U.S. supermajor Exxon Mobil in a $500 billion deal sealed with Rosneft last week.

"This a very large and long-term project that involved big investments," Putin said in televised remarks.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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