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Italy's Eni signs exploration and production deal with Ras Al Khaimah emirate

FILE PHOTO: Italian energy company Eni's headquarters are seen in Rome, Italy September 30, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Eni has signed an exploration and production sharing agreement with the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, the Italian oil company's latest expansion in the Middle East.

The agreement covers Block A offshore Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It was signed between Eni and the emirate's RAK Petroleum Authority, Eni said in a statement on Thursday.

Block A is an area of 2,412 square kilometres. Eni will be the block's operator, with a 90 percent participating interest, while RAK GAS will hold the remaining 10 percent.

Earlier this year, Eni pledged $3.3 billion to buy part of the world’s fourth-biggest refinery in the UAE, increasing its own refining capacity by more than a third.

In January the oil company of Sharjah, another emirate, awarded Eni concessions in three areas.

That same month Eni also signed an exploration and production agreement in neighbouring Oman.

(Reporting by Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Mark Potter)