Italian oil giant Eni swings to 1Q loss

MILAN – Italian gas and oil giant Eni says it lost 792 million euros ($901 million) in the first quarter on sharply weaker commodity prices.

Eni on Friday said the loss compares with a profit of 832 million euros in the same period last year.

Given weak pricing, China’s economic slowdown and eurozone uncertainty, CEO Claudio Descalzi confirmed a 20-per cent reduction in capital expenditures for the year. In the first quarter, capital investments were down 9 per cent, with markedly less spending on exploration.

Production of gas and oil grew by 3.4 per cent to 1.75 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, thanks to the start-up of the Goliat oilfield in the Barents Sea and other projects.

Oil prices have rebounded to the 40 dollar-mark after hitting a 13-year low earlier this year.