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The Upstream strategy: Eni’s exploratory model

Speed at the exploration stage allows us to focus first on development and then production to meet the ever-growing demand for energy.

Efficient exploration to meet a growing demand

Our Upstream operation includes all oil and gas production-chain activities prior to the transportation and commercialisation stages, including obtaining exploitation rights, exploration, development and production. Our operating model is designed to incorporate all these stages while increasing both speed and productivity, enabling us to respond more quickly to global energy needs. We use proprietary technologies and specialised skills to detect new deposits with great speed and precision, identifying 600 million barrels of new resources in 2018 alone and achieving record production levels of 1.85 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

 

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Our Upstream model

Development operations

The field must be put into production to retrieve the hydrocarbons. This involves drilling an optimal number of production wells and installing the necessary equipment to remove any unwanted components (such as solid particles, water, salts, etc) from the gas and oil, as well as to separate the liquid phase of the oil from the gas phase. Development operations at sea are more complex, with production wells being drilled from various kinds of fixed platforms (steel, concrete, semi-submersible or even anchored with cables) that are often extremely large and channelled in such a way as to drain the largest possible area from a single station.

Production operations

Following the development stage, production operations involve hydrocarbons being extracted from the deposit, processed at plants and sent to market by pipeline or ship. The productive life of a deposit can extend for decades. During this time it will be continuously monitored, with work carried out within the wells to optimise production. This sometimes includes advanced recovery projects that involve injecting gas or water to increase the quantity of hydrocarbons that can be retrieved.

Our mission: to meet the growing demand for energy

Everything we do from the exploration phase onwards is in preparation for the final production stage, including incorporating research carried out by  Eni laboratories and the analytical capabilities of the HPC5 supercomputer to obtain a preview of the deposit and make an immediate start on planning the development stage. The field is then gradually brought into production so the new infrastructures can be incorporated and production capacity increased. The ability to begin quick exploration and extraction from the site allows us to provide a rapid response to the ever-growing energy demand. With this in mind, the Dual Exploration Model – whereby we sell minority shares in deposits that are already at the exploration stage – allows us to generate funds in advance. These can be reinvested, making the process even more efficient. 

Circular economy: a challenge every step of the way

A platform from the Gulf of Mexico can be recovered and reused in Congo. A ship can be completely redeveloped in Singapore and become the technological centre of a large offshore hub anchored to the ocean floor in Angola. The circular economy is one of the values on which our Upstream operations are based, with every asset considered to be precious and every resource something to nurture. Eni has cut gas flaring by 45 per cent over the past decade, making it available on the market, and we plan to bring levels down to zero by 2025.