Eni's Agip Romania unit is rumored to be planning a 2007 offensive in its home country. According to PetroPlaza.com, Nicola Meuli, the company's general manager, has said that Agip Romania is to undertake an investment plan valued at over E36 million in a bid to double its market share and generate turnover of E90 million per year.

The online publication reported Mr Meuli as stating that the four-year program will involve further investments and the acquisition of certain existing stations. Agip added to its existing network of 24 filling stations in 2006 through the acquisition of two stations from Cypriot-held company Fix Oil. This gives Agip a 1% market share in the region at present.

There’s an investment budget approved by shareholders for the next four years totaling E36 million. This budget will allow us to double Agip’s share of the domestic market and stake our presence in other regions of the country where the Agip brand is not yet operational, commented Mr Meuli, cited in PetroPlaza.

Agip generated a turnover of E75 million in 2006, an increase of 32% over 2005. According to PetroPlaza, however, Mr Meuli expects 2007 to bring turnover of about E90 million and an improvement in income to E2 million.

The publication also cited Mr Meuli as quashing rumors about the possible sale of Agip’s Romanian business through comments that the unit had not received any bids and is not planning to cease operations in the region. Mr Meuli added that Romania had become an even more important market since the country joined the EU.