Exploration & Production
Performance in this sector has been positive, achieved predominantly through a 47 per cent increase in hydrocarbon production, which has driven up the E&P adjusted operating profit. Start-ups and ramp-ups equating to 238,000 boe/day played a crucial role in this growth. The work to optimise our asset portfoliocontinued in the first quarter of 2018; shares were bought in production concessions offshore Abu Dhabi, providing access to a country with great drilling potential, while a further 10 per cent of the Zohr oil field in Egypt was sold. In addition, oil production at the Ochigufu field, in Block 15/06 offshore Angola, began only 18 months after presenting the development plan. When fully operational, this will add 25,000 barrels to the block's current production levels. Finally, in Indonesia, the development plan of the offshore Merakes gas field was approved, which will benefit from synergies with the nearby production field of Jangkrik.
Gas & Power
We have also achieved significant results in this sector in the first quarter of this year: sales of LNG have increased by 35 per cent to 2.70 billion m3, due in part to the availability of gas produced in the Upstream sector in Indonesia, following increased integration with the company’s other activities. In the first quarter of 2018, natural gas sales totalled 22.44 billion m3 – a fall of 3.6 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2017. Sales in Italy grew by 7.8 per cent to 11.19 billion m³ as a result of increased advertising, partly offset by lower sales to the wholesale and residential sector.
Growth was recorded in the retail business customer base, excluding the impact of disposals.
Refining & Marketing and Chemicals
An agreement was signed with the Chinese company Zhejiang Petrochemicals to develop EST (Eni Slurry Technology), Eni’s highly innovative proprietary technology that allows refining residues, heavy oils and bitumen to be fully converted into high-quality light distillates, eliminating the production of both liquid and solid refining residues (such as coke and fuel oil). Then, in February 2018, a strategic agreement was signed between Versalis and Bridgestone to develop chemical products from renewable raw materials such as guayule. A breakeven refining margin of approximately $3/barrel is forecast for 2018, thanks to optimisation of supply and assets. Processing of oil and semi-finished products on Eni’s own account increased by 6.2 million tonnes compared to the first quarter of 2017 (+6.4 per cent). This was due to increased production at all the refineries – in particular Sannazzaro and Taranto – where certain facilities were unavailable in 2017. It is also thanks to the reduced number of shutdowns at the other refineries compared to last year.