Eni Looks For Libya Return

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Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company, continues to eye increasing production in Libya and the company is saying that it expects the North African country to honor existing contracts. Eni, which has been operating in Libya for over five decades, has the largest footprint there of any Western oil major.

Eni (E) said its Libyan oil production should return to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2012 at the latest, according to the Wall Street Journal. The onset of political violence in Libya in February hampered Eni perhaps more than any of its rivals that were also operating in the country because Libya accounts for about 13% of Eni's total revenue.

Still, questions remain about what oil companies are best positioned to benefit from regime change in Libya. There have been rumors that France's Total (TOT), Europe's third-largest oil company, might receive preferential treatment from Libya's new government because the company helped support Libyan rebels.

Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni said his company has set a goal of resuming natural gas flow from Libya to Italy via the Greenstream pipeline by October 15, a target Scaroni admits is ''ambitious,'' Bloomberg News reported.