Africa Oil & Gas: ENI’s 2018 FIDs to rekindle Nigeria dispute

Eni Angola-Fires-Up-Supercomputer
Eni Staff

Eni expects to sanction important offshore gas projects in Egypt, Indonesia and Italy this year, but also a controversial Nigerian deepwater oil development.  

Important projects that Eni will sanction this year include gas developments offshore Egypt, Indonesia and Italy and also the controversial deepwater Nigerian oil project in licence OPL 245.

Eni chief development and operations officer Roberto Casula said that the list of expected final investment decisions (FIDs) includes: Mexico Area 1 (oil); Egyptian gas field Baltim Southwest (near Nooroz); the Italian Argo-Cassiopeia gas development; a further phase of the Nene oil field offshore Congo; a satellite field near the Jangkrik gasfield in Indonesia; plus a deepwater field offshore Nigeria.

Descalzi confirmed this was OPL 245, the subject of an ongoing Milan court case into alleged corruption linked to the licence’s 2011 award to Eni/Shell. A Nigerian court last year said the award was legal, reversing a previous confiscation of the licence; but the case is coming court June 18, according to Reuters.

The FID and Nigeria questions were put by Bertrand Hodee, head of oil and gas at Kelper Cheuvreux, who also asked if Eni planned to sell the 10% equity in the giant Egyptian Zohr gasfield not taken up by BP and Rosneft. The latter have acquired a combined 40% but each had an option to take 5% each, which they declined.

CFO Massimo Mondazzi said he would not rule out divesting the 10%: “An additional 10% [sale] would be an opportunistic way to handle our portfolio, or to swap the asset with some other assets.” Eni has indicated it will retain at least 50% equity in Zohr.

After success with its block 6 discovery ‘Calypso’ offshore Cyprus, Descalzi said that a third Eni well offshore Cyprus, this time on block 3, is planned next but acknowledged protests raised by Turkey. “We had no problem with the first two wells” he said, adding that he hoped diplomats from Cyprus, Italy and Turkey would resolve any disagreements. Of Lebanon, Eni exploration chief Luca Bertelli said the focus would be on exploring in order to produce for the domestic Lebanese market: “We don’t see direct synergies with Zohr” he said of Eni’s interests in two offshore blocks operated by Total.

In debt-laden Venezuela, a debooking of reserves at Perla offshore gasfield was because Eni had “suspended, although not cancelled” its phase 2 development there; phase 1 production was “steady” and being sold into Venezuela’s domestic market with “no operational problem.” Eni is unable to repatriate income generated from the gas sales.

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