Italy's integrated international oil and gas producer Eni
Eni told us about preliminary results for its December quarter that were somewhat similar to those of its French neighbor Total
Looking at a couple of key metrics in evaluating the operating success of energy companies, Eni managed to increase its oil and natural gas production by 1.1% in the quarter, although its liquids output was down 2.9%. At the same time, the company replaced 90% of its production for the year -- less than the magic 100%, but still respectable.
Eni has been cuffed around by several governments of late. Perhaps the most noteworthy example was in Kazakhstan, where it was the operator for a group of big producers developing the country's huge Kashagan field. When the project went far more slowly -- and with higher expenses -- than had been predicted, the Kazakh government forced Eni to share the operator role with Total, ExxonMobil
At the same time, Eni has been a player in Venezuela, where, like five other big companies, it's been stripped of its operating role in the Orinoco basin, and where it's just reached a compensation agreement with PDVSA, the state oil company. It's also recently been forced to renegotiate deals with the governments of Algeria and Libya. And in just the past year, the company has acquired sizable assets in Russia, where BP
So let's hope that Eni isn't heading toward becoming the poster child for corporate masochism in the energy group. At the very least, its global operations have become something of a one-company example of why Fools should keep one eye cocked toward this vital sector.
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