Exploration successes and the dual exploration model
The main recent start-ups are the Goliat field in the Barents Sea in Norway, the Jangkrik project in Indonesia, the oil and gas development of the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) licence in Ghana, the Kashagan restart in Kazakhstan, the accelerated start-up of the giant Zohr discovery in offshore Egypt and the continued production of the discoveries in Bloc 15/06 in Angola. In 2016, some 1.1 billion boe of resources were discovered, at a unit cost of $0.6/boe. The exploration resources discovered over the last 3 years consequently amount to 3.4 billion boe at a unit cost of $1/boe. Exploration activities are planned for the near future in new promising licences. A 40% stake of Zohr has been sold, confirming the validity of the “dual exploration model”.
Exploration activities: key facts in 2016
- Two agreements have been signed for the sale to BP and Rosneft of a total of 40% of the giant Zohr discovery in the operated Shoruk (Eni 100%) block in Egypt. The agreements have had economic effect from 1 January 2016 and foresee the reimbursement to Eni of the investments incurred during the period and up to closing. The new partners have the option to purchase an additional 5% stake on the same terms as the agreement. The closing of the first of the two transactions took place in February 2017 following the receipt of authorisations from the Egyptian government. The second is expected to be completed by the middle of 2017. The value of the transaction, as of 1 January 2017, is approximately €2 billion, including the reimbursement of costs incurred by Eni in 2016. Through the application of dual exploration model, since 2013 Eni has obtained €5.4 billion.
- The record series of successes in exploration continued with additional resources of 1.1 billion boe in 2016, at a unit cost of $0.6 per boe. Exploration resources discovered over the past 3 years now amount to 3.4 billion boe at a unit cost of $1 per boe. Exploration activities are planned for the near future in new promising licences.
- In Morocco, an agreement was signed with Chariot Oil & Gas (Farm-Out Agreement), which foresees the assignment to Eni of the role of operator and a 40% stake in the exploration permits I-VI in the “Rabat Deep Offshore” licence.
- In Montenegro, an exploration license was obtained for four offshore blocks for a total area of 1,228 square kilometres. The license will be operated by Eni with a 50% interest in a joint venture with Novatek.
- In March 2017, a farm-in agreement was concluded for the purchase of 50% of Block 11, operated by Total, in offshore Cyprus. The exploratory block of 2,215 square kilometres is close to the Zohr discovery.
- Four agreements have been signed with Bahrain’s state-owned companies to study and assess the potential of a number of offshore and onshore exploration and production assets in the country. Following the assessment, the Bahrain authorities will evaluate together with Eni the possibility of future initiatives for further development of the country’s energy resources.
- The exploration portfolio was expanded with the acquisition of approximately 10,500 square kilometres of Eni’s new acreage in countries where the company is well-established, in particular in Egypt, Ghana, Norway and the United Kingdom, and entry into new areas such as the previously mentioned Montenegro and Morocco.
- Investments in exploration during the year amounted to €417 million and involved the completion of 16 new exploration wells (10.2 for Eni). The commercial success rate is at the top levels for the industry (50% for Eni). At the end of the year there were 79 wells in progress (40 for Eni).
Exploration wells and proven hydrocarbon reserves
In 2011, 16 new exploration wells (10.2 for Eni) were completed, compared with 29 (19.1 for Eni) in 2015, and 44 (25.8 for Eni) in 2014. Proven hydrocarbon reserves at 31 December 2016 amounted to 7.5 billion boe, determined on the basis of the Brent marker price of $42.8/barrel. The organic replacement rate of proven reserves rose to 193% in 2016, a record for Eni. Even considering the pro-forma sale of 40% of Zohr, the replacement rate remains excellent at 139%. The residual useful life of reserves is 11.6 years (10.7 years in 2015).