Gazprom, ENI Reaffirm Libya Oil Alliance


ENI and Gazprom have signed an agreement confirming the handover to the Russian giant of a Libyan oil field the Italian firm held before Moammar Gadhafi's fall, an ENI spokesman said on Friday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi oversaw the signing of the framework Elephant deal in February just weeks before the NATO-led offensive began against Gadhafi's forces.

"Gazprom and ENI have signed an agreement reaffirming the agreements signed on February 16, which laid out the future handover to Gazprom of ENI's 50 percent stake," an ENI spokesman told Agence France Presse.

The agreement, which was signed on the sidelines of an investment forum in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, gives Gazprom a 33.3-percent stake of the consortium developing the southwestern Lybian field.

The Russian natural gas giant, which plans to develop the field through its oil arm Gazprom Neft, values the stake at $163 million (119 million euros).

Libya's new transitional government had hinted that it may punish Russian firms for Moscow's refusal to support the insurgents' cause at the start of the war.

Gazprom estimates that the western Libyan field contains 110 million tons of estimated recoverable oil.