Eni has named a new head of upstream as long-time servant Antonio Vella prepares to leave after decades at the company.

Alessandro Puliti will take up the position of chief upstream officer at the Italian major from 1 September, the company said on Wednesday.

Vella is leaving the company at the end of the year after a career spanning 30 years.

Eni said Puliti "has a solid professional experience, built over the years, in Italy and abroad, handling diverse and highly complex situations".

Born in Florence, Puliti joined Eni's reservoir department in 1990 and has since then held various positions within the company's upstream division, including as managing director in Egypt and Norway.

He has also worked in the reservoir and drilling departments in the headquarters.

Last September, he was appointed chief development, operations and technology officer.

"Over the last five years, Antonio Vella has strengthened Eni’s upstream activities, in spite of the challenging market situation," Eni said of the departing chief upstream officer.

"He has done so by ensuring a significant production growth, a constant focus on operational efficiency and a substantial cash generation by his department, at a time of a highly volatile oil price."