To paraphrase Mark Twain, Italy's Eni (NYSE:E) is a good upstream company spoiled. In this case, the spoilage comes from money-losing capital sinkholes in the downstream operations like its Gas & Power and Refining & Marketing operations. To be sure, Eni's upstream operations are not perfect or risk-free, as the company has a recent history of disappointing on production growth targets and its production is heavily weighted toward some pretty dicey countries. It's hard for me to argue strongly for buying Eni over other majors like Statoil (NYSE:STO) (which I own), but I will say that sentiment is pretty bearish on Eni relative to its solid production pipeline and further progress in reforming its downstream operations...
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