Image courtesy of Eni.

Low oil prices have halted Eni’s plans to fund exploration activities and dividend payments with a major assets sale.

Italy’s Eni has already sold about $6.22 billion worth of assets, primarily from its refining operations.

The company still needs to raise $7.4 billion to fund an exploration program set to run through 2017.

Eni was looking to sell minority stakes in its Mozambique gas field along with a 43 percent stake in services player Saipem and interests in non-core assets.

Selling stakes in its Africa and Asia fields could free up cash and offset delays and spiking costs at the company’s offshore Norway and Caspian sea projects, Reuters said.

Weak oil prices have made it difficult for the company to find buyers willing to pay top dollar for the assets.

With global demand for LNG slowing potential buyers are also becoming more cautious about their investments.

Eni sold a 20 percent stake in its Mozambique gas field last year to China’s CNPC for about $4 billion and is now looking to unload a 10 to 15 percent stake.

The company has reportedly been in talks to sell the stake to the China Huadian Group for about a year.

The discussions have not yet yielded a sale agreement.

Eni said that for every $1 drop in the price of Brent it losses about $124 million.


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