UPDATE 2-Eni's confidence on exploration, production offsets loss

viernes 29 de julio de 2016 11:18 GYT

* Eni expects production growth of over 5 pct in 2017

* Kashagan to start in October, Zohr end-2017

* Swings to Q2 loss on low oil price, Italy shutdown

* Sees no reason to change 7 bln euro asset sale plan (Adds management, analyst comments, updates shares)

By Stephen Jewkes

MILAN, July 29 (Reuters) - Italy's Eni has raised the target for the amount of oil and gas it expects to discover this year by 50 percent, helping to offset a surprise net loss in the second quarter as it took a hit from lower crude prices.

The company also said on Friday it expected output to grow by more than 5 percent next year as production starts at its long-delayed Kashagan project in Kazakhstan, as well as in Ghana and Egypt's Zohr.

"I am very confident about the future," Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi said in a conference call.

Eni said it made an adjusted net loss in the second quarter of 290 million euros ($324 million) versus a net profit of 505 million euros the previous year. Analysts' average forecast in a Thomson Reuters poll was for a profit of 59.6 million euros.   Continuación...