ENI announces energy venture with Egypt

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Italian energy group ENI said on Wednesday it had signed an agreement with Egypt on the production and transportation of oil and gas which would raise Egypt’s profile as a supplier to the Middle East and Mediterranean region.

ENI and the two Egyptian state-owned oil companies EGPC and EGAS will establish a joint venture and work together on oil and gas upstream activities in Iraq and Gabon, the Italian company said late on Tuesday.

Egypt will also help ENI acquire rights to transport gas through the Arab Gas Pipeline, linking Egypt to Syria and Lebanon.

"These initiatives will bring about the development in Egypt of a first rate gas ‘hub’ for the entire Mediterranean basin," the statement said.

In a separate statement on Wednesday, ENI also said it had begun the development of the Arcadia field, in the western desert of Egypt, 45 days after it was discovered.

The field is expected to produce 3,000 oil barrels per day by 2011.

ENI is the biggest foreign oil company working in Egypt, having produced 230,000 barrels per day in 2009, the company said.

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