Italy's ENI, France's Total increase production amid higher prices

By Renzo Pipoli
Eni headquarters in Rome, Italy. Photo courtesy of Eni
Eni headquarters in Rome, Italy. Photo courtesy of Eni

Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Italian oil company Eni and France's Total reported Friday production increases that followed the start of some operations or the ramp-up of existing ones in a context of relatively higher oil prices.

Total, citing higher prices, said its "upstream is well positioned to profit from the increase in the oil price thanks to projected production growth in the order of 8 percent in 2018 and 6-7 percent per year between 2017 and 2020".


"It will benefit in the coming months from the start-ups of the third train at Yamal LNG in Russia, Egina in Nigeria and Tempa Rossa in Italy as well as the second train at Ichthys LNG in Australia," Total added.

As for Eni, it said its production worldwide of hydrocarbons from January to September was "up by 3.9 percent year-on-year net of price effects" at over 1.8 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Eni's production also represented a 1.2 percent on-quarter increase. "Exogenous factors in certain countries" prevented bigger gains, Eni said.

Eni ramped up output in Zohr and Noros, which are Egyptian offshore fields discovered in 2015; Jangkrik in offshore Indonesia; OCTP, in offshore Ghana, where production started in July; and Nene, in Congo, where production started in 2014.


The start-up of Ochigufu, offshore Angola, also contributed to the increase, Eni added.

Regarding investments, Total said the group projects around $16 billion in investments this year, and between $15 billion to 17 billion, for the next two years.

It said that its net cash flow for the third quarter was $880 million, down from $1.8 million in the third quarter of last year, as a result of the acquisition of Direct Energie and Engie's LNG business.

Patrick Pouyanne, CEO of Total, said that the acquisition of Engie has made Total the "second-largest publicly-traded LNG player in the world," while the purchase of Direct Energie will speed-up the growth of a low-carbon electricity business.

Eni continues to invest in explorations in Egypt, the Norwegian Sea, Mozambique and onshore Alaska. It also signed during the quarter an accord with BP and Libya' state oil company for exploration in the North African country.

Eni's CEO Claudio Descalzi highlighted cash flow from operations of nearly $4.7 billion, which is "double the amount we achieved in the same period last year and, even more remarkable, 35 percent higher than the previous quarter."

Total also mentioned its announcement during the quarter of a project in partnership with Saudi Aramco to produce petrochemicals as well as a partnership with the Adani group to develop the LNG business as well as a retail network in India.


Brent futures for front-month delivery traded as of 9.38 a.m. Friday at $76.25 per barrel, down from a peak of $86.29 per barrel on Oct. 3, but higher than $60.13 per barrel on Oct. 27, 2017.

Brent oil future prices hit lows of under $36 per barrel in early 2016.

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