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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eni, Libyan Rebels Sign Deal to Restore Pre-Civil War Role

- Eni, Libyan Rebels Sign Deal to Restore Pre-Civil War Role

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
by Adnkronos International, Rome

Paolo Scaroni, chief executive officer of Eni met with Libyan rebel leaders in Benghazi Monday where they signed a non-binding agreement to restore the Italian oil company's pre-civil war role as the North African country's biggest oil and natural producer.

"With the memorandum, Eni and the National Transition Council (NTC) are working to recreate the conditions for a swift return of Eni's activities in the country," the Rome-based company said in a statement.

The agreement would allow Eni to resume gas imports to Italy via the Greenstream pipeline, a move that Scaroni last week said was important ahead of winter when demand for the fuel increases.

Scaroni's trip to Libya makes him the first head of a major oil company to visit Libya since rebels last week took over the capital Tripoli, putting an end to Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year-old authoritarian government.

News reports said Scaroni met with the head of Libya's National Oil company, in addition to the NTC, the rebel's political leadership.

Eni is expected to supply Libyan rebels with fuel as part of an international effort to create security and infrastructure in post-Gaddafi Libya.

Oil traders said Eni was trying to hire a tanker to travel to Libya this week, Reuters news agency reported.

Eni needs between 6 and 18 months to restart its oil and gas fields in Libya, Scaroni said Thursday in Milan following a meeting with NTC prime minister Mahmoud Jibril.

Eni has been in the country since 1959 and got 13 percent of its revenue from Libyan natural resources prior to the conflict that broke out in February.

(c)2011 Adnkronos International (Rome). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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