May 16, 2019 / 12:33 PM / 4 months ago

Italy's Eni agrees to extend Algeria gas contract to at least 2027

FILE PHOTO: Italian energy company Eni's headquarters are seen in Rome, Italy September 30, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian oil and gas group Eni said on Thursday it had strengthened its ties with Algeria’s Sonatrach by renewing a contract to import Algerian gas into Italy until 2027.

Eni, which has a series of exploration and production assets in Algeria, said the agreement with Sonatrach also included an option to extend the contract deadline by a further two years.

The agreement covers almost 15% of gas imported into Italy, Eni said.

“I am particularly pleased with the renewal of the gas supply contract and the level of the strategic partnership with Sonatrach,” said Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi.

Italy, which imports around 90 percent of its needs, has key gas contracts with Russia, Libya, Algeria and Holland.

It will also import Azeri gas when work on the Trans Adriatic Pipeline is complete.

The populist 5-Star Movement, which is part of Italy’s ruling coalition with the right-wing League party, is keen to phase out fossil fuels in favour of more renewable energy.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Mark Potter

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