Potential suitors for a stake of Eni’s Zohr
Italy’s decision not to sell F-16 parts to Egypt came one day before Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi told The Financial Times (paywall) that a number of potential bidders have expressed interest in acquiring a stake in supergiant gas field Zohr, noting that the interest was “informal” so far. Zohr is “a big development. And there is room also to accommodate some other partners,” Descalzi explained, without naming who was in the mix. One analyst said Eni is expected to sell 20% of Zohr for about USD 1.6 bn, and the FT says Zohr “could be appealing to potential buyers because production could start quickly with low development costs because it is close to existing Egyptian infrastructure.” Selling a stake in the field would allow Eni to share the costs of development and remove some of the political risk “associated with operating in Egypt, which has faced instability.” Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported in March that Russia’s Lukoil was in talks to buy 20% of Zohr.
… In related news, Italian oil services company Saipem — an Eni subsidiary — said it has been awarded an EUR 1.5 bn engineering, procurement, construction, and installation contract by Eni for Zohr, The National reported. “We are very pleased to have been selected for the important objective of delivering first gas from Zohr before the end of 2017 … We will mobilise a fleet of vessels with last-generation capabilities and leverage on our proven expertise and consolidated presence in the area in order to ensure our clients achieve their targets,” Saipem’s CEO Stefan