Eni Starts Blacktip Development Offshore Australia

Eni has started the development of the Blacktip gas field, located in the Timor Sea approximately 110 km off the shore of Northern Australia in the Bonaparte Basin, at a water depth of some 50 meters. The Blacktip field is fully owned and operated by Eni and has recoverable reserves of 150 million boe.

Through the development of the new field, Eni further strengthens its presence in Northern Australia and in the Timor Sea, where it was recently awarded five new exploration licenses. In the same area Eni holds 12% of the gas and liquids field of Bayu Undan, whose liquids production started in 2004, and 12% of the Darwin gas liquefaction plant, whose nominal capacity is 3.5 million tons of LNG per year.

The project provides for the drilling of 2 initial development wells, the installation of a production platform, the laying of a 108-kilometer long offshore pipeline and the construction of an onshore treatment plant with a capacity of 1.3 billion cubic meters per year.

The gas drilled from Blacktip field will be mainly used to generate electricity in Darwin and other Northern Territory locations, through a 25-year Gas Sales Agreement with Power Water Corporation. Production is planned to start in 2009 at an initial annual rate of 650 million cubic meters, increasing to 1.1 billion cubic meters.

Eni has been present in Australia since 2000. Current hydrocarbon production net to Eni averages about 30,000 boe/day. Eni is also operator with a 65% interest of the offshore Woollybutt oil field, which in 2005 accounted for some 30% of Eni's production in Australia.

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