Italy’s Eni whose chief executive Claudio Descalzi warned oil prices could hit $200 posts £6.6bn loss in the fourth quarter of 2015

Jessica Morris
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Eni slashed its target price for oil this year (Source: Getty)
he company whose chief executive famously warned oil prices could spike at $200 per barrel has been forced to slash spending, after writedowns driven by low oil prices pushed it to a loss in the fourth quarter.

Italian oil major Eni announced plans to cut capital expenditure by 20 per cent this year, as it revealed an overall net loss in the fourth quarter of €8.46bn (£6.6bn). This was driven by writedowns of €4.4bn on upstream assets, as well as charges on its stake in oil service company Saipem and chemical unit Versalis.

However, production jumped 14 per cent to 1.88m barrels per day, its highest level in five years.

Last year the firm's chief executive, Claudio Descalzi, launched a scathing attack on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), saying the cartel's failure to manage the oil price rout could sending it to $200 per barrel within the next decade.

Read more: Oil company forecasts aren't in line with reality

Brent crude fell below $30 per barrel last month, and it's currently hovering around the $35 mark.

Eni cut its target oil price to $50 per barrel for this year, down from $32. It also reduced a reduced long-term price outlook for the Brent crude oil price down to $65 per barrel compared to the previous $90-a-barrel.

Eni issued a gloomy outlook for the black stuff, cutting its target oil price by 21 per cent to $50 per barrel for 2016. The company also revised its longer-term target price to $65 per barrel, down from the previous $90-a-barrel.

"The price of crude oil is expected to continue to be weak due to structural imbalances in the marketplace driven by oversupply and renewed uncertainties surrounding the pace of future energy demand in the medium and long term,"

"Based on this macroeconomic outlook, Eni's management has revised downwards its pricing assumptions for Brent crude."

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