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Chile's National Petroleum Company Reports $341 Million in H1 Profits, Eyes More Investments

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Emmanuel Abara Benson
New Update
The ENAP oil refinery at an industrial park in Puchuncavi
(Bloomberg)

The National Petroleum Company (ENAP) of Chile has announced a substantial profit of USD 341.3 million for the first half of 2023, with an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of USD 716.3 million.

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ENAP's General Manager, Julio Friedmann, explained that these robust financial results provide a solid foundation for future investment plans both within Chile and in the company's international operations, with a particular focus on Egypt and Ecuador.

Julio Friedmann emphasized ENAP's prominent position in Ecuador's oil sector, highlighting that the company is already the primary oil operator in the country. ENAP remains committed to its development and investment initiatives in Ecuador, particularly in the Coca region. Friedmann noted that the Ecuadorian decision to preserve the Yasuní oil reserves underground will not hinder ENAP's investment goals in the nation.

Positive Results Reflect Strategic Plans:

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ENAP's positive financial results signify progress in its development and investment plan, which prioritizes environmental enhancements and the modernization of logistics infrastructure. The company's success is particularly noteworthy in a challenging context characterized by increased logistics costs and adverse weather conditions affecting operations.

Economic Impact and Challenges:

ENAP's Finance Manager, José Pablo Gómez, acknowledged that while the company's EBITDA and profits in H1 2023 represented a decline compared to the same period in 2022 (11.7% and 7.5% respectively), these results mirror the current market landscape. Factors contributing to this situation include higher freight costs, rising fuel prices, adverse weather effects on crude oil operations, lower international refining margins, and fluctuations in Brent crude oil prices.

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Organizational Adaptations for Resilience:

ENAP responded to these challenges by implementing organizational changes aimed at optimizing plant utilization, achieving operational excellence, addressing the energy transition, and maintaining responsible financial management. The company's strategy aligns with its five-year business plan and long-term vision while upholding robust corporate governance principles.

Business Segment Performance:

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ENAP's results breakdown by business lines reveals that the Refining and Marketing (R&C) unit achieved an EBITDA of USD 365.6 million, while international Exploration and Production (E&P) operations reached USD 79 million. In addition, ENAP Magallanes, responsible for meeting demand in the southern Patagonian region, reported pre-tax profits of USD 24.1 million.

Future Investment and Expansion Plans:

ENAP's future investment plans are estimated at approximately USD 3.5 billion. These investments will cover sustainability projects, decarbonization, clean energy initiatives (including green hydrogen), maintaining product quality standards, reserve management, and expanding operations in Egypt, Ecuador, Magallanes, and other countries. The company will also focus on port and pipeline development for green hydrogen.

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Collaboration with Argentina:

ENAP is exploring greater cooperation with Argentina, including the use of the trans-Andean oil pipeline. This pipeline, after 16 years of inactivity, has become a significant supplier, providing 50% of the raw material to ENAP's refinery in Concepción, Chile.

Profit Sharing and Debt Management:

ENAP is in discussions with the Ministry of Finance to transfer part of last year's profits (approximately USD 400 million) to the State, a move not seen since 2003. However, ENAP remains committed to its development plan, and its total debt of USD 4,464 million from last year will not deter its investment strategies.

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