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Prosecutors seek curbs on Eni's Kazakh unit

10 May 2012

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Italian prosecutors investigating Eni for suspected international corruption are threatening to hamper or even stop its activities in Kazakhstan, a judicial source said, where it operates the biggest oil field discovered in the last forty years. The prosecutors in Milan asked a court to place Eni's Kazakh Agip KCO unit under special administration, the source said on Thursday. As an alternative they have asked for Eni to be banned from negotiating contracts relating to Kazakhstan.

State-controlled oil and gas company Eni, which has been present in the central Asian country since 1992, has a 16.8 percent stake in the giant Kashagan project. It also operates the Karachaganak field.

A court hearing to decide on possible measures against Eni, Italy's biggest listed company, will be held on May 29, the source said.

Eni said in its 2011 financial report that Milan prosecutors had asked the company in 2009 to provide documents relating to the Karachaganak plant and the Kashagan project. Eni at the time said the request was part of an investigation against unknown parties over alleged international corruption and other crimes. Eni declined to comment on Thursday.

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Source: Reuters

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