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Italy's biggest oil and natural gas company by volume, Eni SpA (E - Analyst Report) has signed three production sharing contracts for the acquisition of exploration blocks: L-21, L-23 and L-24. All three blocks are in the deep and ultra-deep waters of the Lamu Basin, off the coast of Kenya.
The blocks awarded to Eni by the government of Kenya span over 21,747 miles (35,000 square kilometers). Eni has gained the operatorship of the blocks with 100% participation. The company is also entailed to carry out the seismic acquisition program.
The deal marks a major step in the company’s effort to build a worldwide unconventional portfolio. It will also provide Eni a base to grow further in the country. The company’s entry into Kenya provides Eni an opportunity to explore the frontier basins of East Africa, where huge deposits of natural gas have been recently discovered, particularly in the deep waters of Mozambique.
Eni is constantly engaged in expanding its exploration activities in the rapidly growing Sub-Saharan market. The company already has operations in Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Togo, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique with an operated overall daily output of 450,000 barrels of oil equivalent. The exploration activity in these regions is growing rapidly.
Eni, with its consolidated subsidiaries, is engaged in oil and gas exploration, electricity generation, petrochemicals, oilfield services and engineering industries. The company, which competes with other major European energy outfits like Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A - Analyst Report), BP plc (BP - Analyst Report) and Total SA (TOT - Analyst Report), holds a Zacks #3 Rank that translates into a Hold rating for a period of one to three months. Longer term, we maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock.
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