Eni has no plans for Kurdistan oil deals: CEO

RIMINI, Italy Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:01pm EDT

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RIMINI, Italy (Reuters) - Italian oil and gas group Eni (ENI.MI) does not plan to compromise its business in Iraq by making energy deals with the country's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Eni Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said on Monday.

State-controlled Eni, together with U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY.N) and South Korea's KOGAS, has a 20-year deal with Iraq to develop the Zubair oilfield, which is expected to produce 400,000 barrels per day in 2013.

Speaking on the sidelines of a conference, Scaroni said that one of the conditions for developing the Zubair field was that there could be no deals with local governments such as that of Kurdistan.

"We will not be throwing into doubt those agreements," Scaroni said.

Canada's ShaMaran Petroleum Corp (SNM.V) said on Monday that a unit of French oil major Total (TOTF.PA) had bought a minority share in an exploration block in the Kurdistan region, having made a similar deal last month.

Iraq's central government says the deals are illegal.

Total followed U.S. oil majors Exxon (XOM.N) and Chevron (CVX.N) in ignoring Baghdad's warnings about possible punitive action and signing contracts with the region, in northern Iraq.

(Reporting By Paolo Biondi; Writing by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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