Eni Petroleum said it has reached an agreement with Shell to "exchange working interest" in 64 Eni and Shell leases offshore Alaska and "begin joint exploration activities" on the leases with Shell as the operator.
The leases are in the federal waters of the Beaufort Sea north of the Oooguruk, Kuparuk, Nikaitchuq and Northstar and Kuparuk units, extending east to mid-way above the Prudhoe Bay unit.
Exploration activity will include 3-D seismic acquisition over the leases and a well by 2010, Eni said.
If exploration is successful Eni will have the option of taking over operatorship of the joint acreage, an Eni executive told Petroleum News Nov. 16.
The 64 blocks will be 60 percent owned by Eni Petroleum, the U.S. E&P affiliate of Italy’s Eni SpA, and 40 percent owned by Shell, which has several 100 percent-Shell-owned offshore prospects further east that are north of the Point Thomson unit and the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Note: See full story in the Nov. 19 issue of Petroleum News which will be released online (www.PetroleumNews.com) this coming Friday.