Saipem in renewables drive as oil firms reduce spending

Saipem SpA, the Italian oil-services provider, which builds projects for the fossil-fuel industry, says it may get more than half its work from clean-energy clients in a decade. That reflects a persistent lack of oil-company investment in the wake of crude’s crash, and a boom in renewables.

“In 10 years, green energy could account for 50, 60% of our portfolio compared with about 10 to 15% today,” CEO Stefano Cao said in an interview in Rome. “We are particularly interested in offshore renewables, in particular in France.”

Saipem was hard hit by oil’s collapse, and its stock is still trading more than 70% below its price four years ago. While crude has recovered to more than $80/bbl, many explorers and producers remain cautious to commit to new investments, allocating the extra cash to dividends and buybacks instead.

The Milan-based company has already made inroads in clean fuels. In July, it agreed to build a low-emission plant in California to produce renewable power, biomethane, ethanol and other products from sugar cane. It also bid for an Electricite de France SA wind-farm project in the Atlantic, in a tender yet to be decided.

Source: World Oil

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