Italian energy company Eni has agreed to sell a 30 percent stake in a giant Egyptian offshore gas field to Russia’s Rosneft for $1.5bln, pressing ahead with asset sales to fund investment amid weak oil prices.
Eni, which currently owns 90 percent of the Shorouk concession containing the giant Zohr gas field, said in a statement that Rosneft would pay $1.1 bn cash for the stake and would reimburse investments already carried out by Eni for around $450m. Rosneft also has an option to buy a further 5 percent stake.
Zohr, discovered by Eni in 2015, is the biggest gas field ever found in the Mediterranean with an estimated 850 bln cm of gas in place. The approval process for development of the field was completed in February and first gas is expected by the end of 2017.
In November, Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi said he wanted to cut the firm’s stake in Zohr to 50 percent.