Italy’s Eni SpA expects to beat previous guidance on new exploration volumes and continue its pace of securing new natural gas sources for European markets as it seeks to reverse the hit its LNG and European gas marketing businesses took in the second quarter.

The Rome-based supermajor, majority-owned by the Italian government, has been focusing on crafting new partnerships and exploration innovations to improve Italy’s energy security. While adapting to reduce flows of natural gas and oil from Russia since the February invasion of Ukraine, Eni reported it is making progress on replacing the average 20 Bcm of gas imports the country provides to Italy annually by 2025.

“Amid uncertainty and volatility in markets, we moved fast to secure new energy supplies,” Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said in a second quarter conference call. “After new gas agreements with our partners in Algeria, Congo and Egypt earlier in the year, in June Eni entered the North Field East venture in Qatar, part of the world’s largest LNG project.”

Descalzi added the company increased investments to rebuild Italy’s gas storage ahead of winter and moved to increased processing rates at its domestic refineries during the quarter.

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Like the rest of Europe, Italy has been scrambling to diversify its gas supplies as western allies of Ukraine continue to target sanctions on Russian Energy. In July, Italy’s Prime Minister Draghi reported the country’s estimated reliance on Russian gas imports to meet its energy needs had decreased to 25% of its annual supply, versus 40% the year prior.

Along with its growing list of partnerships and investments in liquefied natural gas projects, Eni reported Friday it was expecting a boost in new discoveries this year. It estimated it could add around 700 million boe in discoveries this year, up from 600 million boe previously guided in 1Q2022.

In a separate Friday announcement, Eni revealed an estimated 1-1.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) discovery of raw gas in place from its first well drilled in Block 2 offshore Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. It previously announced a potential discovery in a shallower zone of the block, leaving it with an estimated reserve of 2.5-3.5 Tcf. Eni has a 70% stake and is operator of Block 2 with its partner, Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Public Co. Ltd.

The company also saw first gas production from its operated Coral South Floating LNG project off the coast of Mozambique in what Descalzi called “the first development” in the country’s “large potential” as a source for natural gas. The first cargo from the project is expected later in the year.

Eni reported its natural gas production was at 4.4 million Mcf/d in 2Q2022, up 2% from 4.3 million Mcf/d in the same period last year. Eni attributed the rise to production ramp-ups in Indonesia and higher production in Algeria, the UK and Italy.

Combined production was reported at 1.58 million boe/d, down 1% compared to 1.60 million boe/d in the year-prior period. Eni reported the decrease was due to unplanned outages, including the force majeure event on the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) system that impacted its volumes from Kazakhstan. It also reported an increase in plant shutdowns in Libya and sabotage and oil thefts in Nigeria.

Eni saw its natural gas sales drop by almost a quarter compared to year-ago levels in 2Q2022, which it reported was mostly a result of lower volumes marketed in Italy and France. It sold around 13.38 Bcm during the quarter compared to 16.95 Bcm in 2Q2021.

The extremely tight global gas market impacted both wholesale and spot market sales for its European business, and also took a chunk out of its global LNG sales. Of the 13.38 Bcm of gas it sold in the second quarter, 2.4 Bcm came from LNG sales. It was a 20% reduction compared to the more than 3 Bcm it sold in the year-prior period.

While volumes were reduced, Eni fetched a considerable premium for its gas in 2Q2022. The firm told investors its second quarter natural gas realized prices increased by 84% compared to the same period last year.

Eni’s reported net income in 2Q2022 was $3.9 billion ($1.10/share), an upward leap compared to $253.6 million (6 cents/share) in the year ago period.