Both Eni and Total’s Q1 results were released this week and looked to be a clear sign that Europe’s oil and gas industry was in the midst of a healthy and profitable start to 2012.
Particularly impressive were the results posted by Eni, who claimed a 26.5% rise in operating profit for the quarter. Sales from Eni’s operations rose by 16.3% to approximately 33.5 billion euros. Much of this rise in profits has been attributed to an almost 13% rise in average crude prices (to US$ 118.49 per bbl) as well as recovering output from its operations in Libya.
Eni’s CEO, Paolo Scaroni, said the following: “In exploration, we have continued to deliver strong results with further important discoveries in Mozambique and in the Barents Sea. I’m very pleased with the agreement we have recently signed with Rosneft as it underpins our exploration opportunities for many years to come, further boosting our exploration prospects for long-term growth.”
Despite this positive start, Eni said in a statement that it was preparing for 2012 to be a difficult year due to unstable market conditions and the continuing economic uncertainty caused by the Eurozone debt crisis.
Total was also able to provide positive financial results for the first quarter of this year. Even though the French company’s net income was down 5% to US$ 4.03 billion, sales rose by 6.5% to US$ 67.17 billion. The company’s chairman and CEO, Christophe de Margerie, said, “In the context of oil prices that were favourable for upstream but difficult for refining and chemicals activities, the group is satisfied with its first quarter profit.”
The company’s daily production remained steady during Q1 at 2.4 million bpd, roughly equivalent to the levels maintained in 2011.
Unsurprisingly, de Margerie mentioned the recent and ongoing gas leak at Total’s North Sea Elgin platform, “We cannot envisage profitable growth without prioritising personal safety and operational reliability … The entire company recognises that the complexity of our operations requires an even stronger commitment to safety and environmental protection.”
Another European company to be enjoying success in Q1 is Hungary’s MOL, which reported a 6% increase in operating profit, rising to a record US$ 2.9 billion.
Edited from various sources by David Bizley
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