Eni Petroleum voluntarily terminated the Rock Flour unit in June.
According to recently released state lease reports, the Italian major relinquished the central North Slope unit, tucked between the Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk River units.
Eni acquired the unit when it arrived in Alaska in 2005, buying assets from Armstrong Alaska. Eni ultimately drilled two wells, Rock Flour No. 2 and No. 3, targeting viscous crude oil from several reservoirs. Previous exploration work in the area, including ARCO’s Rock Flour No. 1, showed oil-bearing sands, and Eni planned to test whether higher underground temperatures in the area would make the sluggish oil easier to produce.
The decision to terminate the unit suggests Eni is no longer interested in completing its work commitments at Rock Flour. In a plan of exploration approved in late 2005, Eni agreed to drill three wells and run a seismic program at Rock Flour by this summer.
When Eni came to Alaska it divided its time among several prospects, but in recent years the company has been focused on bringing the near-shore Nikaitchuq unit into operation.
See story in July 18 issue, available to subscribers online at noon, Friday, July 16, at www.PetroleumNews.com