VENTURES AFRICA – Eni, the Italian oil and gas giant, presented buoyant production prospects at the weekend, pushing the share price 3.4 percent.
The company said production surged in the final quarter of last year, releasing an increase in earnings while cheering investors’ concerns about problems facing it’s the company’s key projects.
Eni said previous growth forecasts of more than 3 percent for 2013 and production at its giant Kashagan field in Kazakhstan were expected to start before June.
The Kashagan field has been tainted by cost ravages and suspensions and is expected to be kick-started before June this year. It is understood that around 200.000 barrels per day would be produced by the end of the year.
According to Reuters, the company also said the recovery in Libyan production since that country’s civil war and a stronger performance in Iraq and Russia had underpinned a 7 percent increase in production last year.
“It’s an excellent E&P (exploration and production) result and with losses on refining much smaller and the downstream business improving they produced an EBIT number that beat our expectations,” Reuters quoted Mediobanca oil analyst Andrea Scauri as saying.
The problems at Kashagan, the biggest oilfield discovery in over four decades, had prompted some analysts to question Eni’s ability to deliver large-scale projects on budget and on time, according to the news agency.
The company’s buoyant statement lifted the European oil and gas sector index to 0.1 percent.