Eni Accelerating North Sea Sell Off

Eni SpA is accelerating its plans to divest its oil and natural gas holdings in the North Sea. By the end of 2002, it said it will have sold stakes in nine producing fields, 10 marginal or dormant discoveries and 29 blocks. The net result will be a decline of 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, just over 1% of average daily production of 1.45 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the second quarter. Eni made its intentions known in January that it was planning to discard much of its scattered portfolio of upstream interests in the U.K. continental shelf.

The company has finalized an asset swap with Centrica for a further 8.9% stake in the 110,000-barrel of oil equivalent a day Liverpool Bay gas field. UKCS asset sales this year had seen a 6,600 boe/d net reduction in group production, Eni said. The company has also sold its 45% stake in Qatar's Al Khalij oil field and a 25% interest in Italy's Tempa Rossa heavy oil field, which is under development. Eni's second quarter oil and gas production was 8% higher than in the same period last year at 1.453 million boepd. The company aims to raise output to more than 1.7 million boepd by 2005. Last year Eni produced 1.37 million boepd.


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