Italy’s Eni SpA reported lower earnings in the second quarter 2023—owing mainly to lower commodity prices—and still eyes the start-up of its Congo LNG project before year’s end.

The Rome-based company announced adjusted net profit attributable to Eni shareholders of €1.94 billion in the second quarter 2023, down 49% compared to €3.81 in the second quarter 2022. Results in the most recent quarter were impacted by “the weaker scenario, but significantly offset by underlying business performance,” Eni said July 28 in its second quarter 2023 financial press release.

Eni also reiterated that the start-up of its Congo LNG floating LNG project is expected to reach an overall production capacity of 3 million tonnes per year or approximately 4.5 billion cubic meters per year from 2025.

The project, inaugurated in April by Eni and to be constructed in two phases, is Congo’s first liquefaction project and forms part of Eni's core supply diversification initiatives. Congo LNG will assist the African country supply gas to global markets, especially Europe, according to Eni.

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Eni also said its agreement to acquire Neptune, the economic effects of which are retroactive to January 1, 2023, is expected to close at the beginning of 2024.

Closing is subject “to the finalization of antitrust procedures and other customary conditions and will be immediately accretive to Eni’s earnings and cash flow also leveraging expected synergies of at least $0.5 billion,” Eni said.

Eni’s share of Neptune is expected to increase the company’s production plateau by over 100,000 boe/d, the company said.

Neptune adds “cost-competitive, low-emission volumes that will underpin the group strategy of growing its share of natural gas production and speeding up the transition, while at the same time enhancing security of energy supplies to Europe,” Eni said.

Eni also continues with its eye on an upstream exploration target of adding 700 MMboe of discovered resources, it said in the release.