By Alberto Delclaux
Eni SpA (ENI.MI) said Monday it has agreed to form a joint venture with Norwegian private-equity firm HitecVision A/S , by incorporating Point Resources AS into its subsidiary Eni Norge.
The Italian oil major will hold a 70% stake in the combined company--which will be named Var Energi--while HitecVision will hold the remaining 30%.
Var Energi plans to invest more than 65 billion Norwegian kroner ($7.96 billion) in the next five years toward developing new projects, improving existing fields and exploring new resources, Eni said.
Var Energi is expected to reach production of 250,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2023, Eni said. Currently, the two companies produce about 180,000 barrels a day.
Reserves and resources will amount to more than 1.25 billion barrels of oil equivalent, it added.
"This is a fundamental step ahead in our strategy to reinforce Eni's presence in OECD countries with further upstream potential, such as Norway," said Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi.
The deal has been agreed between the owners of both companies and is expected to close by the end of 2018, Eni said.