NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- The chief executive of Italian oil and gas giant ENI says his company will invest in a planned Cypriot natural gas processing facility if its search for deposits off the island nation's southern coast is successful.
Paolo Scaroni says ENI is interested in being part of the multi-billion euro facility, but "needs to be sure that we have hydrocarbons" before it commits to the project.
Bailed-out Cyprus hopes revenue from the facility will help turn around its faltering economy.
Scaroni said Thursday that exploratory drilling in one of three areas for which ENI and its South Korean partner, Kogas, are licensed to search for gas will begin next year.
An offshore gas field now being developed by U.S. firm Noble is estimated to contain 5-8 trillion cubic feet of gas.