The fate of the Nikaitchuq North prospect quietly became evident on July 6 when operator Eni US Operating Co. and leaseholder Eni Petroleum US filed the 15th plan of development for the central North Slope's Nikaitchuq unit, which is on state leases.
Per the proposed plan of development, the Nikaitchuq North prospect leases, which are in federal outer continental shelf waters, have terminated.
Eni's proposed Nikaitchuq unit plan of development, or POD, which will run from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2023, contained a brief plan of exploration for lands not within a participating area, which was devoted to Nikaitchuq North.
Eni spud the Nikaitchuq North exploration well NN-01 in late December 2017 from Spy Island Drillsite (on state acreage) into the Harrison Bay Block 6423 OCS unit.
The company's plan in 2017 was to drill two ultra-extended reach wells over a two-year period.
The first well reached 30,010 feet measured depth, shy of its 35,000-foot target, and was suspended as a result of drilling complications.
Eni anticipated continuing the drilling of the well in early February 2020, but instead announced it would not finish drilling NN-01 or sidetrack it; rather it would try again in early 2020 with a new well, NN-02.
However; Eni's working interest partner (Shell) elected to go non-consent, meaning it would not participate and pay its share of the cost of the NN-02 well.
Eni applied for and received from the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement a suspension of operations, or SOO, for two years until April 2, 2022.
"Due to Shell's decision to not participate in the drilling of the NN-02 well, Management decided to allow the SOO to expire in April 2022," Eni said in its proposed Nikaitchuq unit POD. "As a result of the SOO expiry the Federal Unit (Harrison Bay Block 6423 Unit) and corresponding leases have terminated."
- KAY CASHMAN
Editor's note: see story in July 17 issue of Petroleum News, available Thursday, July 14, at www.PetroleumNews.com
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