The history of the six-legged dog is closely bound to Africa, past, present and future: it is the continent where Eni took its first steps outside of Italy in 1954. The world’s oldest continent, where human life originated, today with almost 70% of its population under 30 years of age, Africa is assuming an increasingly strategic role in the international landscape, both geopolitically and economically. While North Africa is beginning to face the challenge of the energy transition, sub-Saharan Africa is still immersed in the challenge of energy access, from which hundreds of millions of people continue to be excluded. This concerns in particular access to clean forms of energy (e.g. clean cooking), which is one of the keys to improving the quality of life of communities and promoting their development. Complex challenges for a continent whose rapid economic and demographic growth requires ever greater amounts of energy, and where the energy transition will require the exploitation of its abundant resources, starting with gas, which, thanks to its lower emission impact compared to other fossil fuels, is an ideal bridge fuel on the way to decarbonising the energy mix.
This is the continent where we took our first steps outside of Italy in 1954 and where the cornerstones of our business model were established.
The past, present and future of the company
New energies from the African continent
A new oil&gas discovery in Algeria
In March 2022, we announced a significant oil and associated gas discovery in the Berkine North Basin in the Algerian desert. We have been present in the country since 1981, operating several mining concessions.
The strategic partnership with Algeria and Sonatrach was marked in December 2021 with the signature of a memorandum of understanding for energy transition, aiming to assess the opportunities in the field of renewables, hydrogen, CO2 storage, biorefining and other decarbonization initiatives.
In Angola with the joint venture Azule Energy
In March 2022, we signed an agreement with BP to form a new international energy company Azule Energy, Angola’s largest producer, holding stakes in 16 licenses, as well as participating in the Angola LNG JV.
Through Azule Energy, we will contribute to developing the country’s potential in the oil exploration and production sector, and at the same time we will work to exploit the opportunities offered by the energy transition, through the increasing role of gas and renewables in our portfolio.
In Congo for energy transition
Promoting the country’s decarbonization process, in October 2021 we signed a memorandum of understanding for the joint development of bio-refining agro-feedstock.
The agreement marks a new area of activity for Eni in the Republic of Congo, based on the commitment to contribute to the decarbonization of the energy mix in African countries, leveraging the contribution biofuels can offer to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Extending the biofuel chain in Mozambique
We recently signed an agreement with the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to launch the production of oil seeds and vegetable oils to be used as agro-feedstock for the production of biofuels.
We have been present in Mozambique since 2006. Here we launched the Coral South and Rovuma LNG projects for gas production and liquefaction. Cooperation for the development of agricultural projects is a major step in promoting local development and accelerating the energy transition in the countries that host us.
Our commitment in 2021 has strengthened our presence in this area.
14 African countries
where we operate
3,189 Eni's people
who worked in Africa
37.1 mln €
spent in local development in Africa
14.3 mln €
invested in infrastructure development activities
7 upstream projects
on going in Africa
4 photovoltaic project
on going in Africa
The cornerstones of our business are solidly in place in Africa: the decarbonisation process, the cooperation model and the operating model. In addition to strengthening and diversifying our traditional portfolio, which is increasingly focused on exploiting natural gas, and helping to ensure a stable, secure supply of natural gas from North Africa's main energy partners, we are promoting development initiatives on the continent that involve a growing number of players in order to achieve sustainable and continuous growth, based on a new model of circular, low-carbon economy, relying on innovative proprietary technologies. As part of the circular economy, the African continent is at the heart of our sustainable feedstock supply strategy for biorefineries, which involves several countries (including Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Angola, Mozambique, Benin and Rwanda) in new forms of long-term partnerships with the local farming community, envisaging the development of a network of agri-hubs for the collection and processing of low-risk Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC) crops and the exploitation of agricultural waste and residues not in competition with the food chain. Thanks to these innovative projects it is possible to give new value to marginal land while contributing to the economic development of the communities involved.
Africa is also a destination for initiatives relating to new clean technologies, and during 2021 we stipulated agreements with countries where we have a long-standing presence such as Algeria and Egypt to evaluate joint projects for the production of hydrogen and for the capture, use and storage of CO2. Furthermore, we continue to work with several countries in the region to provide Italy and Europe with a secure, stable supply of natural gas in excess of local demand.
Our business operations go hand in hand with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, which Eni pursues by promoting local development projects, with a particular focus on the sustainable and inclusive growth of the agricultural sector, which is crucial in sub-Saharan Africa. One example is our Africa project, an important initiative promoted on the continent together with agricultural consortia and many Italian SMEs in the sector, which aims to train local staff and create integrated production chains for the domestic market. Through projects to conserve the extensive forests here, we are also contributing to one of our main goals: decarbonisation. This will also be made possible by REDD+ projects, a UN-designed forest conservation scheme, which will improve natural CO₂ storage capacity while promoting the development of local communities through socio-economic initiatives.
The energy transition on the African continent depends on biofuels, agreements on new energy sources and alternative forms of production.
Investment in local development in Africa in 2021
Oil and natural gas net developed and not developed acreage in Africa
Programmes to improve energy access in Africa in 2021
Programmes to improve water access in Africa in 2021
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The main development projects on the African continent
The Zohr field is believed to be the largest-ever gas discovery in Egypt and the Mediterranean.
As of December 31, 2021, Eni’s proved reserves booked at the Zohr field amounted to 706 mmboe.
The Hinda Integrated Project
We help improve living conditions and socio-economic development in villages in the Hinda district in Congo.
Thanks to the professional training centre for farmers CATREP we support the development of agricultural activities in the area.
This project involves the production and liquefaction of natural gas in the north of Mozambique.
The project will include the construction of onshore plants and facilities to process natural gas from Area 4.
The commitment to forest conservation
Africa has an immense forest heritage that we want to conserve. We are committed to reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, not only by diversifying our business activities, but also by focusing on forestry projects that have a positive impact on communities, in terms of economic and social development. Forests help to develop new businesses and increase employment. Our strategy involves project development for the "Reduction of emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation" (REDD +) through international initiatives and valuable partnerships. We have already made initial agreements by signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of forest projects in partnership with international developers.
Energy and geo-economic scenarios
To understand an increasingly complex present, we have to move past a single vision of reality. That’s why we offer an overview of countries that takes into account a variety of interwoven aspects: from historical events to energy policy, and from geo-economics to the push towards digitalisation.
Innovation and dynamism are the two driving features of the country's focus on a sustainable future, thanks to investments in renewables.
Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence from the UK in 1957. Gold, cocoa and oil are the sectors that fuel its economic growth. Future goal: energy independence.