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Eni retools organizational structure amid loss

Italian energy company sees markets may be on the slow road to recovery.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Italian energy company Eni retools some of corporate structure while posting a loss for the second quarter. Photo by project1photography/UPI
Italian energy company Eni retools some of corporate structure while posting a loss for the second quarter. Photo by project1photography/UPI

MILAN, Italy, July 29 (UPI) -- While swinging to a loss in its quarterly report, Italian energy company Eni said it was moving more controls to its chief executive to retool risk structures.

The company reported its second quarter loss widened to $494 million in part because energy prices remain under pressure from a market characterized by a higher level of supplies.

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CEO Claudio Descalzi said in a statement company's results were positive, "despite the weak but slowly improving market environment."

Eni said Friday the board of directors approved steps to retool its organizational structure, moving management functions related to risk monitoring to Descalzi's desk and anti-trust responsibility to the chief financial officer.

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Credit ratings agencies Standard & Poor's and Moody's each downgraded their positions on Eni for 2016, citing negative pressure from lower crude oil prices. Early this year, Eni lowered its forecast for crude oil prices that would support spending from $63 per barrel through the end of this year to $50 per barrel.

The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was moving toward $42 per barrel early Friday.

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"Our strategy, including the optimization initiatives and a reduced cost base, has allowed us to absorb part of the impact of a low oil price scenario," Descalzi said.

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The Italian energy company has faced supply-side pressures because of lingering militant activity in the Niger Delta region. Nevertheless, the company said its hydrocarbon production so far has come in better than expected. Main assets in its portfolio are positioned in such a way that net production should grow by more than 5 percent next year.

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