Italian giant Eni could be forced to put a number of natural gas projects on hold as prices for the fuel continue to slump, company head Paolo Scaroni has announced.

Crude oil prices may be showing signs of recovery but natural gas prices will stay depressed for years, he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

“Gas prices are going to stay low for a considerable time – the next three to four years,” Scarconi said as he explained how the company has been forced to rethink its investments.

He also said that poor economics may mean Eni has to shelve a plan to double capacity at the Damietta liquefied natural gas plant in Egypt.

Scarconi also said that he did not foresee the gap between oil and gas prices closing any time soon.