Eni May Shelve Gas Projects Due to Low Prices

Source: Reuters 10/21/2009, Location: Africa

Italian oil major Eni SpA could shelve some natural gas projects because of low prices for the fuel, Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said in a Wall Street Journal interview published on Wednesday.

Crude oil prices may be showing signs of recovery but natural gas prices will stay depressed for years, he said. The grim outlook could force energy companies to rethink some investments in new gas projects.

"Gas prices are going to stay low for a considerable time -- the next three to four years," he said. As a result, "we are looking much more carefully now at projects that were in the pipeline."

For example, poor economics may prompt Eni to shelve a plan to double capacity at a big liquefied natural gas plant in Egypt, Damietta LNG, Scaroni said.

He said he did not foresee the gap between oil and gas prices closing any time soon.


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