Prior to the official visit of Silvio Berlusconi, Prime Minister of Italy to Russia, scheduled for November 6, 2008, a meeting of Paolo Scaroni, Chief Executive Officer of ENI concern, Fulvio Conti, Chief Executive Officer of Enel and Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee was held today in Rome. The meeting discussed further development of the partnership relations between the three companies.
At the meeting the parties signed an Accord to develop the Russian assets of Arcticgaz and Urengoil, as well as agreements providing for Gazpromís engagement in SeverEnergia as set out in the Strategic Agreement for 2006. Eni, Enel and Gazprom will promptly get down to approving development plans for the said assets, as well as take measures to specify the license agreements terms concerning Arcticgaz and Urengoil.
The natural gas market of Italy is the third-largest in Europe after the Great Britain and Germany. The share of gas in the Italian energy balance exceeds 30 per cent. The main gas exporters for Italy are Algeria and Russia.
Italy is the second-largest importer of Russian gas in Europe. In 2007 Gazprom export supplied the country with some 21.96 bcm of gas.
In November 2006 Gazprom and ENI signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement stipulating an opportunity for Gazprom to provide direct Russian gas deliveries to the Italian market starting from 2007. By 2010 annual gas volume supplied will reach 3 bcm. The Agreement foresees prolongation of existing contracts for gas supply up to 2035.
On April 4, 2007 as part of the Strategic Partnership Agreement, Gazprom entered with ENI and Enel into the Call Option Agreement to acquire assets included in lot 2 of the auction for YUKOS property.
The auction resulted in SeverEnergiaís ( former EniNeftegaz, a consortium 40 per cent Enel Ė 60 per cent ENI) purchasing the following assets: Arcticgaz (100 per cent), Urengoil (100 per cent), Neftegaztekhnologiya (100 per cent), Gazprom neft (20 per cent). Subsequently, Gazprom neftís assets (20 per cent) were delivered to a wholly owned subsidiary of ENI.