Gazprom, the world's largest natural gas producer, may start selling fuel to a unit of Enel, Europe's fourth largest utility, as part of the Russian company's plan to boost gas sales to Italy.
Gazexport, Gazprom's gas trading unit, signed a preliminary accord with Enel FTL SpA covering possible sales of three billion cubic meters of gas a year, or about fifteen percent of Gazprom's 2001 sales to Italy.
The companies may sign “a long term contract for Russian gas sales” over a period of two decades, Gazprom said in a statement e- mailed to the news wires.
Gazprom's exports to Italy may exceed thirty billion cubic meters of gas by the year 2010, or about a quarter of the company's current exports. The company supplies about sixty percent of Western Europe's gas needs. It expects exports to rise by about a third to 175 billion cubic meters by 2008.