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ENI to approve EDF entry into South Stream

Eni should approve French utility EDF’s entry to its South Stream gas pipeline venture within weeks, giving a boost to the mammoth project which had appeared to be stalling as gas prices plunged.

Eni chief executive Paolo Scaroni yesterday said the allocation of a stake to EDF did not necessarily have to be equally split between the Italian oil and gas company and its Russian partner in the project, Gazprom.

“The issue is being closely studied by the board of directors and in the coming weeks we should sanction the entry of EDF as a partner in the project,” Scaroni told a shareholder meeting, confirming that the French firm had been offered up to 20 per cent.

The massive South Stream project aims to transport up to 63bn cubic metres of gas a year from Russia under the Black Sea to the Balkans and into Europe.