Eni has started the development of the Nikaitchuq oil field, located offshore the North Slope of Alaska at an average water depth of 3 meters.
Eni owns the 100% working interest in the field, having obtained a 30% stake in the field through the acquisition of Armstrong Oil & Gas' Alaskan assets and the remaining 70%, together with operatorship, from Anadarko in the first quarter of 2007.
Nikaitchuq, which will be the first development project operated by Eni in Alaska, has recoverable reserves estimated at approximately 180 million barrels of oil. Total investment will amount to about U.S. $1.45 billion and first oil is expected at the end of 2009.
The field will be developed through some 70 wells (approximately half of the wells will be producing wells and half will be injection wells), about one third of which will be drilled from onshore and the remainder drilled from an offshore artificial island built 4.5 km from the coast. Production will be sent to a newly built processing facility (treatment capacity of 40,000 b/d), located in an onshore area close to the field, and then transported to the Kuparuk network (at a distance of some 22 km) that is linked to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System.
With this project, Eni will build a significant position in Alaska, leveraging its technological know-how and its large international experience as an operator of development projects in challenging environmental conditions involving artic temperatures and extremely shallow waters prone to seasonal icing.
Eni has been present in Alaska since August 2005, following the acquisition of 103 leases from Armstrong Oil & Gas in the North Slope area. Since then Eni's portfolio in the region has grown to 158 leases. In first half of 2008, Eni expects to achieve first production in Alaska from the Oooguruk field (Pioneer 70% and operator, Eni 30%), which is also located in the North Slope, some 25 km west of Nikaitchuq.
In the United States, Eni also owns lease interests in 401 Gulf of Mexico (GoM) blocks, 70% of which are in deepwater. Eni is among the leading GoM producers with a current daily net production in excess of 110,000 barrels of oil equivalent, of which 60% is operated.
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