Under the accord, from 2007, Gazprom will have the opportunity to launch direct Russian gas deliveries to the Italian market. The supply amount will be gradually growing to some 3bcm/y by 2010. The agreement contemplates extending existing contracts for gas supply to Italy through to 2035.

Furthermore, the parties have agreed to work through investment projects in the gas exploration and production sector of Russia and third countries.

In addition, the agreement should help cooperation between the companies when laying new and developing existing gas transmission routes, including within the Blue Stream project, as well as interaction in the LNG and new gas transportation technology areas.

The long-awaited landmark agreement could even lead to Gazprom acquiring a minority stake in Eni’s power unit Enipower, Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni has revealed, although he confirmed that Gazprom is not interested in buying into gas division Snam Rete Gas.