Eni may benefit from tech savvy partner in Mozambique LNG-CFO

MILAN, April 29 (Reuters) - Italian oil major ENI could benefit from an additional partner in developing its giant Mozambique gas deposits, especially one with project-management skills in running such complex ventures, a senior company executive said on Friday.

“This contract is so big I guess we could take advantage from (having) a strong additional partner, not only stronger from a financial point of view but also (with) a capability to run such a complicated project,” Eni Chief Financial Officer Massimo Mondazzi said in a conference call.

Eni has been in talks to sell a stake in its Area 4 gas development off the coast of Mozambique, containing 85 trillion cubic feet of gas - one of the richest discoveries ever.

Area 4, in which Eni holds a 50 percent operating stake, will feed a series of onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plants, mainly supplying Asian markets.

Mondazzi’s comment came in response to a question whether Eni would be willing to sell more than a 15-20 percent stake in its main Mamba project if it kept operatorship in the nearby Coral development.

Reuters reported in March that ExxonMobil was in talks to buy a stake of varying potential sizes in Eni’s Area 4 development, including a full operating stake.

Eni has been in talks with several buyers including China’s Huadian Corp, sources have said.

Coral is a floating LNG export plant and all the supply has already been sold to British major BP. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes and Oleg Vukmanovic)