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Eni is an integrated energy company involved in the exploration, production, transport and marketing of oil and natural gas. We have business operations in 66 countries around the world.
 

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Eni Refining & Marketing and Chemicals in Europe

With 5 directly-owned refineries across Italy (Sannazzaro, Livorno, Venice, Taranto and Gela), Eni is Italy’s leading operator in the refining sector and in the distribution of petroleum products.

In this sector Eni is also present at the European level, with stakes in a number of refining hubs as well as activities in the retail and wholesale markets in central and eastern European countries.

The transport, distribution and marketing of refined petroleum products, stored on the basis of the final client and type of product, is conducted, both in Italy and abroad, through an extensive and integrated logistics structure.

At Eni  wholesale commercial activities for finished goods - i.e. not sold through the retail network – aims to valorise market needs and opportunities by investing first of all in product quality and customer relations, in an effort to establish stable long-term relationships, also through the use of target marketing initiatives.

 

The refining process for crude oil

The refining of crude oil for the production of finished goods (LPG, diesel, petrol) is carried out through a process of  fractional distillation (a “physical” process), followed by conversion and upgrading operations (processes/transformations of a chemical nature).

 

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FRACTIONAL DISTILLATION
Fractional distillation is a two-step process:

  • the first step is carried out at atmospheric pressure (primary atmospheric distillation or topping), and, being the most volatile, the first product is LPG. This is followed by increasingly heavy hydrocarbon blends: naphtha (the name given to petrol before further upgrading), kerosene (jet fuel for aircraft) and diesel;
  • and a second step in a vacuum (secondary atmospheric distillation or vacuum).

CONVERSION
The heaviest components of petroleum products that are not able to evaporate (heavy diesel and residues) are subjected to a conversion process called cracking, with the aim of manufacturing finished products  analogous to those produced by atmospheric distillation: i.e. LPG, petrol and diesel.

Theavy diesels are subsequently sent to conversion plants, such as:
  • Hydrocraking: processes with high temperature and high pressure hydrogen to obtain diesel;
  • FCC: a process of thermal/catalytic cracking to obtain (mainly) petrol;
  • solvent extraction: for the production of lubricants.

Different conversion technologies are used at Eni’s refining facilities, in particular: visbreaking, deasphalting, gasification, LC, finfing, and a new technology developed by Eni called EST (see details below).


UPGRADING
The products obtained by distillation and conversion are subjected to an upgrading procedure through which they pass through the necessary processes for transformation into finished products: LPG, petrol, jet fuel and diesel. The main processes used for this are:
  • desulphurisation with hydrogen, which involves a process for the removal of sulphur to limit the emission of polluting substances;
  • optimisation, which is a process aimed at improving the engine performance of petrol.


 

ENI EST
During the year, at the Sannazzaro de’ Burgondi refinery, a plant for the conversion of residues became fully operational. The plant uses proprietary Eni technology called EST (Eni Slurry Technology) with performance in line with expectations. 

The EST technology has the advantage of entirely converting  distilled loads and enhancing distillation residues from heavy and ultra-heavy crude oil, as well as non-conventional resources.

The logistics process

Two distinct logistic processes are used to transport oil to Eni’s refineries: a primary logistic process, using a vast network of oil pipelines and a supply process, using oil tankers for longer distances.

The sale and storage of finished products, LPG and crude is carried out using a secondary logistics process for which Eni is one of the major players in Italy due to its directly owned and managed network of pipelines and a system of  15 storage depots, distributed across the country.

 

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Eni’s logistics operations in Italy are organised on the basis of a hub structure, with three main areas through the monitoring and centralisation of product handling flows to ensure greater efficiency, particularly in the collection and processing of orders.

 

The retail and wholesale distribution process

The process consists of several stages: from analysis and planning to the implementation and control of sales.

Eni’s entire commercial process is structured to guarantee the efficient distribution of fuels of certified quality to ensure customer satisfaction and the continuous improvement of the service.

The products from the refineries are distributed through two different channels: retail and wholesale.


 

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Retail
The network is a combination of directly owned Eni and Agip service stations, both across Italy and abroad. On 31 December 2015 the distribution network in Italy totalled some 4,420 sales outlets.
 

Wholesale
This is the market for finished goods not sold through the network of service stations. In the wholesale market, Eni markets fuels including diesel for transport, heating, agriculture and the marine sector; petrol and fuel oil; jet fuel. The wholesale customers are the retailers of these products, industrial companies, service companies, public and municipal bodies and end-users.

 

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