Eni to buy new exploration block in Pakistan

Updated 13 December 2012
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Eni to buy new exploration block in Pakistan

MILAN: Italy’s Eni has strengthened its hand in Pakistan by agreeing to buy offshore gas acreage as the oil and gas major continues to channel cash into more profitable upstream activity.
In a statement, Eni said it had signed a deal with Pakistan and state oil company OGDCL to acquire 25 percent and operatorship of the offshore Indus Block G license, located in Pakistan’s Indus Basin.
Eni is the leading foreign producer in Pakistan with an equity output of 58,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed).
In September, it announced a significant onshore gas discovery in a country which it is counting on as part of its strategy to develop assets and bring them to market rapidly.
Huge cost overruns and delays at Kashagan, the world’s largest oil development, have raised questions about its ability to deliver large-scale projects on budget and on time.
Eni, the world’s No. 7 oil company in terms of production, is selling non-core assets like gas transport group Snam and Portuguese energy group Galp Energia to focus on oil and gas exploration.
The company, which produced 1.7 million boed in 2011, has said it is looking to add more than 1.3 million boed of new production by 2022.
Over the past year, Eni has dispelled some of the skepticism about its profitability and growth potential by clinching a deal with Russia’s Rosneft and scoring exploration successes in Norway and Mozambique.
The 7,500-square-kilometer block in Pakistan is “in ultra deep water of an underexplored and promising area offshore Pakistan,” Eni said.
The consortium managing the block is composed of the two state companies OGDCL and Pakistan Petroleum, Eni and United Energy Pakistan Limited — each holding a 25 percent stake.


Barclays chief Staley survives whistleblowing inquiry with fines

Updated 20 min 29 sec ago
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Barclays chief Staley survives whistleblowing inquiry with fines

  • Case marks first test of Britain's "senior managers regime"
  • Decision not to dismiss Staley comes as relief for shareholders

Barclays said Jes Staley will be fined by British regulators for attempting to unmask a whistleblower, but will be able to keep his job as the bank’s chief executive.
The country’s banking watchdogs concluded Staley’s attempt to find out who wrote a letter raising “concerns of a personal nature” about an unnamed senior employee represented a breach of individual conduct, Barclays said on Friday.
Staley’s case is the first big test of Britain’s “senior managers regime” (SMR), aimed at making top banking officials personally accountable for their actions after few were punished for their roles in bank collapses during the financial crisis.
If Staley accepts the findings of the regulators, it would be the first time that a sitting chief executive of a major bank in Britain has been fined by its regulators. A bank spokesman said the size of the fine had yet to be determined.
Barclays said the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) were “not alleging that he (Staley) acted with a lack of integrity or that he lacks fitness and propriety to continue to perform his role as Group Chief Executive Officer.”
News of the FCA and PRA fines follows a more than year-long probe in Britain that had led to speculation among some investors and bank insiders that Staley could have been forced to step down if deemed unfit to continue by those authorities.
Barclays also said that the FCA and PRA will not take enforcement action against the bank, while authorities in the United States are still investigating the case.
“Staley will live on to fight another day – which we welcome as a positive development for the bank and a relief for shareholders,” John Cronin at Irish broker Goodbody said.
“He’s been delivering on the strategy far more effectively than his predecessor had and therefore absent any sort of genuine malpractice we’re pretty keen for him to crack on,” one of the bank’s top 40 investors said.
The British bank, which in April last year said it had reprimanded Staley and would cut his bonus for his attempts to identify the whistleblower, will be required to report to the FCA and PRA on aspects of their whistleblowing programs.
The watchdogs could have banned Staley and opting for a fine could dent the fledgling SMR’s credibility.
“The magnitude of banning the sitting CEO of such a systemically important institution made outcomes other than a fine unlikely, but the case does set an interesting precedent,” said Nicholas Queree, an associate at law firm Peters & Peters.
Staley received the draft warning notice last week and was given 28 days to accept the findings or appeal. If he agrees to pay the two fines he would get a 30 percent discount.
The fines have been set according to a formula that considers the type of offense, the offender’s position in the company, any financial hardship, any previous cases, and whether there was any monetary benefit from the offense.
“We ... will announce the outcome once this issue has reached a conclusion,” the FCA and PRA said in a statement.
Legal experts question whether a light sanction for Staley could send a signal to other potential bank whistleblowers that they risk unmasking if they speak out.
Barclays said it will recommend Staley’s re-election as a director at its board meeting on May 1. At the last annual meeting he faced resignation calls, but was given a public endorsement from Chairman John McFarlane.
Staley’s pay package was £3.88 million ($5.45 million) in 2017, 8.5 percent less than the previous year.