MILAN--The Chief Executive of Italian utility Edison, controlled by French EDF (EDF.FR), said in an interview published Tuesday that Edison is "thinking" about importing shale gas in Europe.

"EDF has activities in the United States and is now looking at those projects, also to understand whether there will be consequences for the Mediterranean region," Edison's Chief Executive Bruno Lescoeur said in an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

Mr. Lescoeur added that there is a good chance Edison will find an agreement on gas contracts with Russia's Gazprom OAO (OGZPY) but it will take time, maybe until 2014, while talks with Italian gas giant Eni S.p.A. (E) in relation to gas contracts are open at the moment, although Mr. Lescoeur didn't give any further details.

"We showed that it is still possible in the gas sector to work with long-term contracts, which can give better security and supply guarantees and can be price-competitive," Edison's CEO said. "The mix between price and flexibility makes our contracts competitive," he added in the interview.

Mr. Lescoeur added that Edison will be profitable in 2013.

Website: www.corriere.it

Write to Manuela Mesco at manuela.mesco@dowjones.com

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