Between 2007 and 2013 eni reduced the volume of associated gas flared by 65%. In 2013 the volume of associated gas flared could be attributed mainly to three Countries: Nigeria (34% of the total), Congo (23%) and Libya (32%). In these Countries eni has focused its efforts to launch flaring reduction projects: in Nigeria between 2007 and 2013 flaring was reduced by over 73%, also as a result of two important projects completed in 2012-2013. By 2017, 5 significant initiatives aimed at achieving the almost total reuse of the associated gas produced will be launched. In Congo the M’Boundi flaring down project was completed in March 2014, with zero flaring. eni continues to pursue the goal of “zero gas flaring” by investing in new flaring down projects in its current production fields. This target however may not be achievable by 2017 mainly due to the current difficult social and political context in Libya and Nigeria. Nonetheless, by that year, eni intends to reduce the volume of gas flared by over 80% compared with 2007 values. With regard to medium to long-term actions, the use of natural gas is central to achieving the goal of a low carbon society. eni is a leader in the sale of natural gas in Europe and can boast various successes in exploration for new gas reserves such as the recent discovery of a giant gas reservoir in Mozambique. eni uses natural gas to power its own thermal power plants, which have lower emissions than the industry average in Italy and Europe. Soon there may be new opportunities for the use of gas in the transport sector (land and sea), thereby allowing the development of the full potential of this low carbon fuel.
From a long-term viewpoint, eni is investing in research to overcome the current limitations of renewable sources. In particular in 2013 eni renewed its strategic alliance with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a joint project focused on the development of new technologies in support of the Oil & Gas core business – including new generation solar energy – and continued its work with the CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) and other Italian universities.
eni has also invested in technology to substitute the use of fossil fuels where this is environmentally and economically sustainable. Some examples are the launch of the biorefinery in Venice in 2014 with eni’s proprietary technology – UOP, and the building of an electric power plant in Porto Torres to use renewable energy sources such as biomass waste.
In the long term, the impact on the climate of fossil fuels can also be reduced by industrial scale underground injection of CO2. In order to limit the potential damage caused by the rising frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, climate change adaptation initiatives are planned starting from a careful assessment of the main risk factors linked to this issue. These will define suitable adaptation solutions, using the combined efforts of both the public and private sector. The criteria used in the planning and design phase, particularly in the regions most affected by climate change, will take into account the likely intensity and frequency of extreme events.