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Exploration Company of the Year, 2016: Eni

Eni has a glowing track record of discovering oil and gas, the most recent being a potentially significant gas field discovery in Baltim South West, offshore Egypt.

Recently, the company has made a firm commitment to tackle climate change and has begun to integrate its current business with energy from renewable sources. The initiative to transition to a low-carbon commercial outfit – by combining renewables and natural gas – has been met with applause.

Eni has already spent €500m on solar energy projects since 2013, and it plans to invest €1bn over the forthcoming three years in renewable energy projects and research, particularly in Italy, Pakistan and Egypt.

One target is to bring 420 megawatts of mostly solar power generation online by 2022, by reusing derelict land linked to existing fossil fuel operations. In Italy alone, Eni is aiming to build more than 220 megawatts of solar power capacity in regions including Liguria, Sardinia, Sicily, Calabria, Puglia and Basilicata at a cost of an estimated €200m-250m.

Eni also continues to invest in traditional energy sources, but with an eye on corporate social responsibility. To this extent, in collaboration with Vitol Energy, the group has recently signed a $7bn contract with the government of Ghana, for the production of oil and gas at Cape Three Points in the Western Region of Ghana, to help the country meet its growing energy needs.

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