Italy

Europe

Sound Energy gets drilling go-ahead from Italian authorities

Sound Energy will press ahead with drilling its Badile prospect after receiving permission from Italian authorities this week. No date has been earmarked for commencement of drilling although Sound confirmed it would begin some time during 2016. The company has already secured the drilling rig to be used on Badile.

Europe

Eni cleared to sell Saipem stake

Italy’s Eni has confirmed the European Commission has cleared its plans to sell a 12.5% stake in fellow Italian firm Saipem. The Commission has published its authorisation for the transaction following the positive outcome of the anti-trust procedure.

Renewables/Energy Transition

E.ON to sell Italian hydroelectric plants to ERG for $1bln

Italian energy group ERG is to buy German utility E.ON's Italian hydroelectric power plants for about 950 million euros ($1 billion), expanding its renewable portfolio which mostly comprises windfarms. E.ON's Terni Hydroelectric Complex, which has 527 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity and produces about 1.4 terawatt hours of electricity a year, was put up for sale in late 2013 along with other assets in the country. ERG currently operates windfarms in Europe with a total capacity of 1.38 gigawatts, including 1.1 gigawatts in Italy, as well as a gas-fired thermal plant in Sicily with a capacity of 480 MW.

Oil & Gas

Eni raises output target as Q2 profits slump on Saipem

Italian oil and gas group Eni raised its production targets for the year on Thursday as second-quarter net profit slumped due to lower oil prices and a heavy loss at oil contractor subsidiary Saipem. State-controlled Eni said adjusted net profit in the second quarter was 0.14 billion euros ($153 million), below the consensus forecast of 0.48 billion euros in a Reuters poll of analysts. Stripping out the Saipem effect, adjusted net profit was 0.45 billion euros. On Tuesday, Saipem reported a quarterly adjusted operating loss of 738 million euros after heavy writedowns as part of a turnaround plan.

Health, Safety & Environment

Italy’s Foreign Minister urges ‘prudence and discretion’ over kidnappings

Italy’s Foreign Minister said “prudence and discretion” were essential as the country attempts to bring four kidnapped oil workers home from Libya. The families of four men have been in an anxious wait for news after they were taken near to an industrial complex owned by energy company Eni in the western city of Mellitah. Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said: "Prudence and discretion....are needed to bring home our four countrymen.