Eni may raise Uganda oil stakes offer-paper

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Italy's Eni ENI.MI may offer the Ugandan government a cash sweetener of up to $300m to win a $1.5 billion bid for stakes in the country's main oil prospects and thwart a rival offer from British explorer Tullow Oil TLW.L, The Sunday Times newspaper said.

The newspaper said Eni was considering putting additional cash of between $200 million and $300 million towards the deal for a stake in three oil blocks owned by Britain's Heritage Oil HOIL.L.

It said some of this could go to Heritage investors but most could go to the Ugandan government. Heritage, Tullow’s partner in Uganda, agreed in November to sell its stake in the blocks to Eni for $1.5 billion. However, earlier this month Tullow exercised pre-emption rights to block the sale, a move which upset the Ugandan government. [ID:nLDE60G05T] [ID:nLDE60H0FJ]

Last week Uganda said it would favour Eni’s bid and would block Tullow if it needed to. [ID:nLDE60K1MU]

ENI declined to comment (Reporting by James Davey, additional reporting by Tom Bergin; Editing by Greg Mahlich)