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Inauguration of the Darquain oil field in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Source: 7/24/2005, Location: Asia

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The Darquain oil field development in the Khouzestan Province of Iran was inaugurated today in the presence of His Excellency Muhammed Reza Aref, the First Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, the Iranian Minister of Petroleum, and Paolo Scaroni, Chief Executive Officer of Eni.

The Darquain project, which was the first onshore oil field development to be undertaken by a foreign investor under the Iranian buy-back[1] contract, is being implemented on schedule and within budget. Eni operates the project with a 60% working interest on behalf of the National Iranian Oil Company. Eni's Iranian partner is Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), which holds a 40% share.

Paolo Scaroni, CEO of Eni, commented: "The inauguration of Darquain marks the achievement of an important target for Eni and its Iranian partners. It reinforces our presence and strong relationship with Iran which will contribute to increasing Eni's production. It also highlights our ability to exploit technical expertise and experience in the implementation of development projects around the world. "

At present the production from the Darquain field is 55,000 barrels a day and will increase to 160,000 barrels a day at the end of a second phase of development now underway. At the end of the second phase, Darquain Project total investment will reach US$ 548 million (Eni equity US$ 329 million).

The inauguration of Darquain follows the recent inauguration of the Eni operated South Pars Phases 4 and 5 project, consolidating the Company's activities in Iran where Eni has been present for more than 50 years.

Eni also participates in joint ventures for the development of the Dorood and Balal oil fields, both of which are located in the Iranian offshore of the Persian Gulf

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