MILAN, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Italian oil major Eni lowered its production goal for the year after posting a larger than expected 55 percent drop in net profit for the second quarter, dragged lower by losses at its affiliate Saipem and outages in Libya and Nigeria.
The world's No. 7 energy major by volume said it expected oil and gas production for the full year to be in line with 2012. In its first-quarter results, Eni had said it expected production to grow.
Adjusted net profit in the second quarter was 580 million euros ($770.15 million), below a Reuters analyst poll forecast of 683 million euros.
ENI's 43 percent-owned oil services arm Saipem, whose results it consolidates fully in its accounts, has issued two profit warnings so far this year and expects a full-year loss.
ENI's output in the second quarter was 1.648 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, in line with the previous year, as production ramp-ups in Russia, Algeria, Angola and Egypt were offset by stoppages in Libya and ongoing trouble in Nigeria.
Sources have told Reuters that Royal Dutch Shell will sell more oil blocks in Nigeria in its latest divestment from Africa's top oil exporter.
Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni said he was pleased with the company's six production start-ups so far this year and said "we expect a significant improvement in our second-half results".
State-controlled Eni, Russia's biggest gas client, also lowered its gas sales forecast for the year, saying they would be lower than in 2012. In first-quarter results it said it saw sales in line with last year's.
Eni said it would pay an interim dividend for 2013 of 0.55 euro per share.
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