UPDATE 1-Gazprom says eyes Eni's Mozambique gas assets

Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:04pm EDT

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MOSCOW, March 19 (Reuters) - Russia's state gas monopoly Gazprom is interested in acquiring gas assets of Italy's Eni in Mozambique, Gazprom's spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We are interested in (Eni's gas assets) in Mozambique," he said without elaborating.

Eni has already agreed to sell a 20 percent stake in its Mozambique offshore project to Chinese oil company CNPC. The Italian company still has 50 percent of its biggest ever gas discovery, and Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said the company may yet sell more.

The other shareholders in Eni's Area 4 prospect are state firm Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos de Mocambique, South Korea's Kogas and Portugal's Galp Energia, each with a 10 percent stake.

The project is slated for liquefied natural gas (LNG) production and fits into Russia's strategy to expand its presence in the global LNG market.

For now, Russia has only one active natural gas liquefaction plant, operated by Gazprom, Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsui at Sakhalin-2, producing around 10 million tonnes of LNG annually. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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