Eni has been active in the Middle East since the 1950s, thanks to the entrepreneurial vision of Enrico Mattei, who formed fair and lasting relationships with several oil-producing countries. In recent years, we have reinforced our presence in this region, which has become a strategic hub for our business activities. Historically a global leader in the production of oil and gas, with half of the world’s proven reserves of hydrocarbons, the Middle East is now seeking to establish itself as a global laboratory for new strategies and technologies, rethinking the use of traditional sources of energy and exploiting the potential of renewables. The volatility of the price of crude has been exacerbated by the historic shock to demand brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, energy transition has become a priority of the recovery plans launched by governments worldwide. These factors have impressed upon the Gulf countries the urgent need to diversify their economies, and indeed the social contract itself, which is still too closely tied to the redistribution of oil revenues. As well as the need to reduce their dependence on oil and gas, the countries of the Middle East are faced with other huge challenges, such as the overall redefinition of their development models and the launch of new and more stable forms of co-operation between government and industry. A combination of economic growth and green technological innovation is required to ensure social cohesion and stability.
In a strategic geographical area for energy industry development, we operate through technological innovation, scientific expertise and fast start-ups.
Strategic deals and diversification: fast energy access
Our ongoing commitment has strengthened our presence in the Middle East.
in the Middle East where we operate in 2020
annual production of hydrocarbons in United Arab Emirates
20% Eni’s interest
in ADNOC Refining as shareholder
The challenges we face
We have been leaders in developing the gas resources of the Eastern Mediterranean, based on our major discoveries in Egypt and many other initiatives in the area, and we are now investing ever more heavily to assist in the area’s decarbonization itinerary. In line with our portfolio diversification strategy, which also has a geographical dimension, we have been aiming for a rapid expansion of our operations in the Middle East since the end of 2017. We are involved in projects and initiatives at every stage of the value chain – from exploration to development, from refining to trading – in a geographically strategic area, lying on the principal energy routes to the markets of Europe, Asia and Africa. By taking an interest in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Lebanon – in addition to our well-established presence in Egypt – we are furthering our integrated approach and strengthening the resilience of our business. In the UAE, thanks to our fruitful partnership with ADNOC, in 2019 we further broadened and diversified our portfolio of refining and trading activities, and in 2020 we launched an important joint venture, undertaking research to develop advanced low-carbon solutions for the reduction, capture, use and storage of CO₂. We are also supporting ADNOC in its land-based electrification projects to supply its offshore production installations with energy from sources that produce lower CO₂ emissions than gas. As we look to the future and follow our distinctive model of co-operating with partner countries, we also affirm our commitment to energy transition and promotion of the circular economy. With this in mind, we have recently entered into a joint venture to develop circular-economy projects in Bahrain, in particular for the efficient recovery and recycling of water, soil and wastes.
The first Universal Exposition to take place in an Arab country will be held from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022 in the United Arab Emirates, and we will be attending as Platinum Sponsor of the Italian Pavilion.
Oil & natural gas net developed and not developed in Middle East 2020
Eni and ADNOC together for sustainable energy for the future
Turn your smartphone and discover more
Projects in the Middle East
Ghasha: oil&gas in the United Arab Emirates
This project is made up of the Hail, Ghasha, Dalma and other offshore fields located in the United Arab Emirates. It will produce more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day with expected start-up in the middle of the next decade.
The gas produced could meet over 20 per cent of the United Arab Emirates' domestic demand for gas.
Health care and staff training in Iraq
We work to improve the quality of the haematology, oncology and surgery services at the Basra Children’s Hospital. SDGs: 3
In collaboration with the Gaslini Institute in Genova, we are building a new ward, supplying equipment and repairing and upgrading existing systems.
Ruwais: refining in the United Arab Emirates
In 2018, we acquired 20 per cent of the Ruwais refinery in Abu Dhabi, which gives us one of the best expansion opportunities on the market.
This acquisition will allow us to increase our global refining capacity by about 35 per cent and significantly improves productivity.