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Italy's Eni Still Looking At Uganda Oil Investment - President


ENTEBBE, Uganda -(Dow Jones)- Italy-based Eni SpA (E) is among the international companies interested in investing in Uganda's oil sector as the country prepares to move from exploration to the production stage, the Ugandan president said Friday.

Yoweri Museveni told reporters that Eni executives were in the country for talks with the government on investing in the sector. The president didn't specify the kind of projects or oil blocks Eni is interested in.

"We have received a lot of interest in the oil sector from international companies," Museveni said, adding that the government is in talks with Cnooc Ltd. (CEO), France-based Total SA (TOT) as well as a South Korean company that he didn't name.

A spokeswoman for Eni declined to comment.

Last year, Eni entered into a $1.5 billion sale and purchase agreement with U.K.-based Heritage Oil PLC (HOIL.LN) to acquire its stakes in two exploration blocks in Uganda, jointly owned with Tullow Oil PLC (TLW.LN).

However, Tullow later exercised its preemptive rights and proposed to buy the same shares itself at the terms earlier agreed with Eni, prompting Eni to withdraw from the deal.

Uganda still has at least five unlicensed oil blocks and is set to resume a new round of licensing in the second half of the year.

-By Nicholas Bariyo, contributing to Dow Jones Newswires; 256-75-2624615;


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 26, 2010 13:07 ET (17:07 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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