Pakistan oil firms, Eni form E&P, technology JV

By an OGJ correspondent
KARACHI, Mar. 22 -- Pakistan's Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Italy's Eni SPA signed a memorandum of understanding for Eni to participate in an oil and gas exploration joint venture with Pakistan state oil companies Oil & Gas Development Co. and Pakistan Petroleum Ltd.

Eni Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scraoni said his company will invest $150 million in Pakistan in the next year. Its current investment in Pakistan is $50-100 million/year.

Scraoni said the JV will explore potential business opportunities in Pakistan's oil and gas upstream, midstream, and downstream and will identify areas of future collaboration in technical studies.

The MOU also includes the exploration of opportunities for fast-track development and use of technologically advanced applications in already discovered or in-production oil and gas fields operated by the Pakistani state oil companies.

"The opportunities will be identified during the first 6 months from the signature of the agreement," the Eni said.

The JV will review farm-in and farm-out opportunities in the exploration licenses currently held by its Pakistani JV partners. Eni also will ensure technology transfers through intercompany staff training and technical and operating activities reviews.

Eni initially entered Pakistan in 2000 by acquiring British Borneo, a small independent company having small, nonoperated assets. In 2001, Eni acquired LASMO PLC, a holding company of LASMO Pakistan.

Eni now holds an overall portfolio of 21 licenses that includes 7 production licenses, three of them as operator, and 14 exploration licenses (3 offshore and 11 onshore) covering acreage totaling 36,000 km.

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