Italy’s antitrust authority approves Gazprom-ENI deal

Dec 15, 2006 01:00 AM

Italy’s antitrust authority has approved of an agreement on strategic partnership concluded between Russia’ s gas giant Gazprom and Italy’s concern ENI, antitrust authority chairman Antonio Catricala said.
“There is some strategically important, long-term agreement at stake,” he said.

The antitrust authority ruled that the agreement in no way abused either national or European anti-monopoly legislation. Catricala added that his department would exercise on-line supervision of the agreement’s implementation at all stages from the standpoint of its compliance with fair competition rules.
Gazprom and ENI in October 2005 had to annul their previous agreement in the wake of objections from Italian anti-trust agencies, which argued that the agreement between the two energy giants would put them in the dominating position in the Italian market of natural gas.

The new agreement, concluded on November 14, allows Gazprom to sell gas directly to Italian consumers as of 2007, prolongs Russian gassupply contracts expiring in 2017 till 2035 and gives ENI access to participation in oil and gas production projects in Russia.
“We are very glad the antitrust authority has approved of our agreement with Gazprom,” ENI CEO Paolo Scaroni said. “This is yet another confirmation of the importance of this treaty -- a fundamental move enhancing our country’s security in terms of supply of energy resources.”

Source: Itar-Tass
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