MILAN Jan 15 Italian oil and gas group Eni
has pulled out of Mali because of the poor prospecting
outlook in the African country, an Eni spokesman said on
"Eni has handed back licenses it had because of the very low
potential of the area," the spokesman said.
The licenses were handed back before the recent outbreak of
fighting in the country, he said.
France intervened in Mali last Friday in an effort to block
an advance by rebel fighters whom the West fear could use the
West African nation as a launching pad for international
Eni, in partnership with Algeria's state-owned Sonatrach,
said in 2006 it had acquired 5 exploration licenses in Mali's
Eni is the biggest foreign oil major in Africa and has
identified the continent as one of its key drivers for growth.
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Mark Potter)