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Eni CEO: We’re not taking big risks

Italian integrated oil and gas company Eni is continuing to explore for oil, but is not taking big risks, its CEO said Tuesday.

Instead it is focusing on areas it knows very well, Claudio Descalzi said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

"If you want to keep your costs down, you must explore and explore and get good results, and then you can start developing."

Since Descalzi took the helm two years ago, oil has had a rough ride. The challenge was changing the company's culture while continuing to do business, he said.

"You have to transform your company. You have to do things differently, but you have to continue and progress and invest," said Descalzi. "So you have to reduce costs but without cutting production, without changing your business model."


He believes fundamentals are now driving the price of oil, which he predicts will go back higher by the end of the year.

"Higher means $55, $60, something around there," he said.

U.S. crude closed 0.47 percent lower, or 23 cents, at $49.10 a barrel Tuesday after the UAE oil minister said he was happy with the oil market and noted that oil prices had been correcting higher.

Brent crude oil futures were down 9 cents at $49.67.

— Reuters contributed to this report.