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Eni (E) Gets Approval to Restart Production at Goliat Field

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Italian oil giant Eni S.p.A. (E - Free Report) recently announced  its intention to restart production at the Goliat oil field soon,  following Petroleum Safety Authority ("PSA") of Norway’s approval. The regulatory body stated that Eni has fulfilled the requirements to start work.

The 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil field in the Arctic Barents Sea was shut at the beginning of October, following a notice from the PSA to halt production on the Goliat Floating Production Storage and Offloading ("FPSO") vessel owing to some insufficiencies and faults. Eni is conducting pre-startup checks at the Goliat oil field.

The Goliat field is located in PL 229 in the Barents Sea and contains around 180 million barrels of oil reserve. It is 80 kilometers north-west of Hammerfest in Northern Norway. Eni has 65% operating interest in the field, while Statoil ASA has the remaining 35% interest.

Production first started at the field in March 2016. Since then, the oil field has witnessed several disruptions. In August 2016, production at Goliat went offline and resumed on Sep 27, 2016. Again, production was halted after detection of gas leakage on Aug 26, 2017.

About Eni

Based in Rome, Italy, Eni is an integrated energy player. Start-up of new upstream projects in Ghana and Angola as well as Indonesia have been supporting Eni's oil production growth. For 2017, Eni expects oil and natural gas production at 1.84 million (BOE/D), up 5% year over year.

However, exploration expenses during the first nine months of 2017 increased 29.6% as compared to the year-ago comparable period. Moreover, the company gained 1.6% year to date, underperforming the industry’s 3.5% rally.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Eni carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the oil and energy sector are ConocoPhillips (COP - Free Report) and Holly Energy Partners, L.P. (HEP - Free Report) , all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Houston, TX-based ConocoPhillips is a major global exploration and production company. The company’s sales for 2017 are expected to increase 24.4% year over year. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 152.3% in the last four quarters.

Dallas, TX-based Holly Energy is a production pipeline company. The company’s sales for 2017 are expected to climb 10.4% year over year. The company came up with a positive earnings surprise of 57.1% in the third quarter of 2017.

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