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Vol. 15, No. 46 Week of November 14, 2010
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

The Explorers 2010: 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 it bought a portfolio of North Slope leases from Armstrong Alaska in the summer of 2005. Eni brought the weight and pockets of a major to prospects being explored mostly by independents. Within a few years, the company drilled several exploration wells in the central North Slope south of Prudhoe Bay, but in recent winters shifted its focus from exploration to development.

In June 2008, Eni Petroleum became a producer in Alaska through its minority stake in the offshore Oooguruk unit, located in the state waters of the Beaufort Sea. Now, after delays caused by economics and hurricanes, Eni plans to bring the neighboring offshore Nikaitchuq unit online by early 2011. Those near-shore prospects are Eniís focus in Alaska for the foreseeable future. The company farmed out one central North Slope prospect, North Tarn, to a group of independents in January, and rather than fulfill drilling commitments at two other central North Slope prospects, Rock Flour and Maggiore, Eni relinquished the acreage this summer, comprising almost 40 percent of its Alaska landholdings. Eni currently holds nearly 143,500 acres of state onshore and offshore leases.

Current exploration focus:

Northern Alaska: Eni plans to bring the Beaufort Sea Nikaitchuq unit online in 2011 by developing the Schrader Bluff OA sand, and might someday develop other sands in the unit.

Northern Alaska: Eni conducted some 3-D seismic surveying on leases own jointly with Shell in the Beaufort Sea in Harrison Bay. Eni could benefit from Statoilís plans to conduct a 3-D seismic survey on Chukchi Sea leases owned jointly by the companies.



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