Qatar signed on Sunday a memorandum of understanding on oil and gas co-operation with Italy's energy major Eni, the two sides said.
Eni signed the MOU with Qatar Petroleum International, a wholly owned subsisidiary of Qatar Petroleum "to seek joint investment opportunities in international projects in the exploration and production sector," a joint statement said.
Eni had operated in Qatar since 1967 but abandoned it in 2002 as part of a revision of its asset portfolio.
"Abandoning the country was one of our major mistakes," Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni said.
Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah Al Attiyah told the news conference at which the deal was unveiled the agreement covered the energy spectrum: upstream, downstream refining and petrochemicals across the world, as well as joint projects in power generation.
He said Eni and QPI will set up working teams to look into joint projects, but it was too early to talk about the scale of investment. Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni said his company was also bidding for four exploration blocks offshore Qatar, a major gas producer and also one of OPEC's smallest oil producers.
"We are bidding, we are working for four blocks offshore," he said.
Scaroni said Eni will bid alone for the blocks without any partners but expected keen competition from its peers.
"We expect very tough competition – these are very attractive blocks," he said. "We want to win at least some of them."
Attiyah said he hoped the award of the blocks would be finalised in May. (Reuters)
Qatar signs oil and gas MOU with Eni