(AGI) Rome, Sept 16 - Oil and gas production in Italy "coulddouble within a decade, avoiding around 50 billion euro ofimports and ensuring 25 billion extra revenue for statecoffers, with more jobs for tens of thousands of people", saidClaudio Descalzi, CEO of Italian oil and gas giant Eni, in aninterview published in Panorama magazine - on the newsstandsfrom Thursday Sept. 17. "However, over the last 10 yearsItalian production has dropped from 400,000 to 200,000 barrelsof equivalent per day," he continued. Following the discoveryof a giant gas field off the coast of Egypt, Mr Descalzi saidthat "in no other country do we invest as much as in Italy:almost 8 billion euros during the four-year plan from 2015 to2018. We believe in Italy and not only with regard to theexploitation of its hydrocarbon resources. We have had greatsuccess in launching ambitious projects, such as the conversionof Venice and Gela, which by the end of the year will enable usto make all our businesses profitable - even those that havebeen losing money for years. And all this without shedding asingle job." Mr Descalzi also addressed the issue ofexcessive use of coal: "It seems paradoxical that itsconsumption in Europe will grow at the expense of gas. Withfalling prices the European quota mechanism has stoppedworking. Coal is cheap and is used in abundance despiteproducing so much CO2. Europe should find another way to makecoal less competitive. But if the world aims to limit thetemperature rise to two degrees, Europe cannot do everything byitself; with incentives for renewables and the trading of CO2rights, in the end so many costs fall on European businesses,undermining their competitiveness against American and Asianproducers. So Yes to the fight against CO2, but by everyone,not just Europe." (AGI) . .