Italian oil sector giants Eni and Saipem have signed a deal to work together on identifying and engineering decarbonisation initiatives and projects in their home country.

The memorandum of understanding — signed on Wednesday by Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi and Saipem counterpart Stefano Cao — is geared primarily towards developing opportunities for joint involvement in carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions in Italian industrial districts, the pair said.

Sign up for our new energy transition newsletter

Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from Accelerate, the new weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here

“The objective is to contribute towards the decarbonisation process of entire production chains, particularly those of the highest energy intensity, by taking clear steps with immediate action to combat climate change and to achieve CO2 reduction targets at national, European and global level,” the oil and gas major added.

Eni and Saipem also agreed to evaluate participation in programmes financed by the European Union under the Green Deal Strategy, raising the possibility of including specific initiatives within the framework of the EU’s post-Covid-19 “Recovery & Resilience Fund”.

Becoming greener

Eni has made one of the stronger commitments to reducing carbon emissions among global oil companies, including a target of zero net direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions in Europe by 2050.

Earlier this week, Eni announced a farm-in deal that will give the company a 20% stake in two phases of the Dogger Bank wind farm in the UK North Sea.

Saipem, a contracting giant rooted in the oil sector, is getting increasingly involved in what it describes as the hybridisation and decarbonisation of energy-intensive production complexes.

Climate change fight

In the joint statement on Wednesday, Saipem said it has designed more than 70 plants for the capture of CO2 and that it can act “as an integrator of processes and technologies, taking into account the expertise and experience gained in the management of CCUS processes on multiple industrial complexes".

Descalzi commented: "The adoption of technological solutions for decarbonisation such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage, will be fundamental in the energy transition of the country, and Eni can provide unique skills and expertise in managing production processes and in the fight against climate change."