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PODGORICA (Montenegro), September 14 (SeeNews) – Italy's Eni said on Wednesday it signed a concession contract with Montenegro for the exploration of four blocks of oil and gas offshore in partnership with Russian peer Novatek.
The blocks, covering a total area of 1,228 square kilometers, have been awarded to the Italian-Russian consortium following an international tender, the Italian oil and gas major said in a statement.
Each of the partners has 50% interest in the exploration licences.
The entry into Montenegro's upstream is part of Eni’s strategy aimed at strengthening the company's exploration portfolio in an area where Eni has been a leader in exploration and production activities since the early ‘60, according to the statement.
The Montenegrin government said earlier that the concession will be granted for a period of 30 years. It also said in February that exploration activities will be divided into two stages valued at 85 million euro ($95.4 million) and 12 million euro, respectively, with borehole drilling expected to begin this year.