In March Eni agreed to sell a 20% stake in its giant Area 4 gas field to the Chinese state-owned player for a whopping $4.21 billion.
CNPC is the fifth explorer at the venture after Mozambique’s Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, ENH, Korea’s Kogas and Portugal’s Galp Energia, all on 10%. Eni retains a 50% share.
While describing Eni as “sitting comfortable” with its 50% operatorship stake in Area 4, Eni chief executive Paolo Scaroni hinted in March that a further minority partner could yet be added, especially if an offer were to come from a company which would also buy Area 4’s gas.
Eni previously agreed to jointly develop Area 4 with Anadarko’s neighbouring Area 1 field in a liquefied natural gas project set to see a final investment decision in 2014 and first LNG cargoes in 2018.
Eni and CNPC also at the time signed a co-operation agreement to jointly study developing China’s Rongchang shale gas block and on to hold talks on anticipated future production sharing agreement. This agreement will continue, the Italian said.