Eni petrol station - Petar Milošević

Eni bounces back on soaring energy prices

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Italian energy giant Eni, with interests in seven offshore gasfields around Cyprus, on Friday said it returned to net profit last year, boosted by soaring oil prices that brought better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

Annual profit of 6.1 bln euros in 2021 contrasted with a heavy loss of 8.6 bln euros in 2020, when all the energy majors suffered due to coronavirus lockdowns that brought the global economy to a halt.

After briefly sinking into negative territory in 2020, oil prices surged last year.

The main international and US contracts rose to seven-year highs in January and now sit above $90 a barrel.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, Eni recorded a net profit of 3.8 bln euros, far surpassing analysts’ expectations of close to two bln euros.

In the same period of 2020, the group recorded a net loss of 797 mln euros.

Adjusted net profit — which excludes exceptional costs — was 4.7 bln euros in 2021, the highest level since 2012.

The production of hydrocarbons was 1.7 mln barrels a day for the year, down 3%.

Meanwhile, annual sales rose by 74% to 76.6 bln euros, much higher than analysts expected.

Despite the current boom in oil and gas prices, Eni has started to diversify its portfolio to include more renewable energy.

It has set a target of reducing by 80% the net greenhouse gas emissions produced by its energy products by 2050 — above the 70% target set by the International Energy Agency.

The Italian energy giant is a consortium partner with France’s Total in two offshore blocks and holds interests in seven licenses of the country’s exclusive economic zone in blocks 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11, five of which as operators.

In February 2018, the consortium made a “promising gas discovery” in the Calypso 1 well located in Block 6.

Eni said the well is a promising discovery confirming that the ‘Zohr play’ within adjacent Egyptian waters extends into the Cyprus EEZ, for which an accurate evaluation, new studies and a delineation programme are needed. (Agence France-Presse/Financial Mirror)