The Explorers 2009: ENI Petroleum
Italian major Eni Petroleum took its first stab at Alaska in the late 1960s as Agip Petroleum, but didnít begin exploring in earnest until summer 2005, when it bought a portfolio of North Slope leases from Armstrong Alaska. The company brought the weight and pockets of a major to prospects being explored mostly by independents, and now leases some 230,000 state acres. Within a few years, the company drilled exploration wells in the central North Slope south of Prudhoe Bay, but in recent winters shifted focus from exploration to development.
In June 2008, Eni Petroleum became a producer, getting several thousand barrels of oil per day from its share of the offshore Oooguruk unit operated by Pioneer Natural Resources. Eni is now working to bring the neighboring offshore Nikaitchuq unit online. The company hoped to start producing oil from the field this year, but a hurricane delayed the shipping of production modules from the Gulf of Mexico, pushing development back to 2010. Eni is also approaching deadlines for follow-up wells at its two central North Slope prospects, called Rock Flour and Maggiore.
Current exploration focusNorthern Alaska ó central North Slope: exploration drilling near the North Slope infrastructure. Developing the Nikaitchuq field in the Beaufort Sea.
Northern Alaska ó the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas outer continental shelf: owns some leases in the Chukchi Sea. Has conducted some 3-D seismic surveying with Shell in some joint venture leases in the Beaufort Sea in Harrison Bay