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Eni Looks to Spin Off Oil and Gas Projects

Eni is considering spinning off some stakes in oil and gas projects in Asia and Africa to have partners for their development while putting aside more money into lower-carbon energy projects, sources in the Italian major have told Reuters.

For years, Eni has been taking a different approach to conventional and green energy development, unlike any of the other major international oil and gas firms. The Italian major is divesting or creating joint ventures to operate oil and gas assets internationally while grouping some low-carbon initiatives and projects into separate firms.

Key to these spin-offs and the so-called ‘satellite strategy’ are the separate balance sheets of the companies.

“The satellite model is an approach we have built to have additional funding sources to keep together the need to meet demand for traditional products, while also developing new, greener products,” Eni’s chief financial officer Francesco Gattei told Reuters.

For example, Eni agreed at the end of last year to sell a 9% stake in its low-carbon energy unit Plenitude which values the business at around $10.8 billion (10 billion euros). Plenitude is active in the market of power generation including renewable energy sources, the sale of energy and energy solutions, and an extensive network of EV charging points.

The Italian group also reached last month an agreement with major UK oil and gas producer Ithaca Energy to combine substantially all of its upstream assets in the UK, excluding East Irish Sea assets and CCUS activities, in “a strategic move to significantly strengthen its presence on the UK Continental Shelf.”

Commenting on the deal, Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi said “This agreement represents a further example of Eni adapting to the demands of the changing energy market and in this case deploying our successful Satellite Model.”

According to company sources who spoke to Reuters, Eni is now eyeing spin-offs of oil and gas projects in Indonesia and Côte d’Ivoire.

Earlier this year, Eni announced a major discovery offshore Côte d'Ivoire, the second largest in the country, following the Baleine field discovered by Eni in September 2021. 

Offshore Indonesia, Eni announced at the end of last year a significant gas discovery in the Kutei Basin, about 85 km (53 miles) off the coast of East Kalimantan.  

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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