Petrobras and Eni signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at evaluating future partnership in the production of biofuels and in heavy oil refining.
The two companies will combine their proprietary technologies to jointly develop projects for the production of biofuels in other countries. The agreement includes possible cooperation in the commercialization of biofuels in the international market.
In addition to its first-generation biofuel production, Petrobras has developed a hydrogenation process it calls H-BIO (earlier post) to produce a renewable diesel fuel. Eni is considering the construction of a 250,000-tonne biodiesel plant at its Livorno refinery as well as the development of projects in countries where it has a deep-rooted presence.
The two companies will also study joint projects to assess the application of the Eni Slurry Technology (EST) in Brazil in the framework of a broader partnership involving both upstream and downstream joint initiatives. Eni Slurry Technology will allow deep conversion of residues and heavy oils—typical of those produced in Brazil—into refined products such as diesel and gasoline.
EST is highly flexible to feedstock as well as product slate, and produces no coke.
We are moving globally into the field of biofuels and deep conversion of heavy oils. Brazil represents a very important step in Eni’s strategy of building new partnerships in these sectors.—Paolo Scaroni, Eni CEO
Brazil has proven oil reserves of some 11.5 billion barrels and proven natural gas reserves of some 320 billion cubic meters.
Eni is present in Brazil in four offshore exploration blocks, located in the Santos oil basin, one of the richest in the country. Moreover, Eni was in 1999 awarded a 30-year concession for distribution of natural gas in the north-western area of São Paulo State.