Cash is tight at Eni, which had to cut its dividend earlier this year and has just signed up for two projects, one in Uganda and one in Iraq, that could cost it close to $20bn over the next decade.
So, like many other oil companies, Eni is “optimising its portfolio” by selling its less profitable assets.
But in Eni’s case, these do not simply include unsophisticated refineries (pretty much the deadest wood in any portfolio given current profit margins and new demands from environmental policies as well as heavier, more sour crude streams).
Eni is selling assets that are somewhat more appealing, at least aesthetically.
A historical villa of about 2,187 square metres in Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, comes resplendent with ionic columns, a park and a swimming pool. For elegant Venetian living there is Campo Sant’Angelo, which is 2,552 square metres, and lies on Calle de Cafetier.
But its properties, which also including land and industrial buildings, are all over Italy. Here is a map of them, alas without pictures.
Poor old Shell – it’s just not the same coming from Holland, though in terms of headquarters, even Shell has Eni beat aesthetically.