Italy’s state-backed oil giant makes a major discovery off the shores of Angola

  • Oil giant Eni, backed by the Italian government, said it discovered oil in offshore Angola.
  • It’s estimated to hold between 170 million and 200 million barrels of light oil in place.
  • The discovery came just after OPEC and other major producers agreed to cut oil production levels.

Eni, the state-backed Italian oil giant and 10th largest producer in the world by revenue, said it has made a new oil discovery in offshore Angola.

The Afoxé exploration prospect is located offshore in a deepwater region West of Soyo and is estimated to hold between 170 million and 200 million barrels of light oil in place, according to company.

“Eni is committed to developing this discovery leveraging its best-in-class time-to-market, whilst at the same time launching an intense exploration campaign that will fully support the Company’s mid-term organic growth in the Country,” chief executive Claudio Descalzi said in a statement Monday.

Eni’s production has been on the rise, boosted by its presence in offshore Angola. In October, the company said its Ochigufu start-up helped production rise by 3.9% in the nine months through September to more than 1.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The discovery comes at an uncertain time for the energy market. Oil prices have lost nearly a quarter in value over the past three months, with the global benchmark currently trading around $US60 per barrel. In attempt to support prices, OPEC and other major producers agreed this month to cut coordinated production levels.

As a net importer of crude oil and natural gas, Italy depends on foreign countries for about 93% of its oil and natural gas needs to maintain exports of refined petroleum products, according to the Energy Information Administration.