Italy’s Eni has achieved the important production goal of 25,000 barrels of oil per day at the Nikaitchuq field, in which the company is operator with a 100% interest.
The field, located offshore the North Slope of Alaska in a water depth of 3 meters, holds reserves estimated at 200 million barrels of crude oil. Nikaitchuq production, which began in January 2011, is the first operated by Eni in the Arctic.
Development of Nikaitchuq includes the drilling of wells and the construction of facilities both on land and on an artificial island built by Eni in the Beaufort Sea. The location’s extreme climate and environmental constraints required the application of Eni’s proprietary technologies and expertise to drill multilaterals horizontal wells and to build one of the most advanced production facilities in the North Slope, with maximum environmental compatibility and high operating efficiency.
Nikaitchuq horizontal wells are the most complex wells drilled by the industry to date in Alaska, with a lateral displacement that extends up to 22,000’ (7 km). The field treatment plant is able to handle 40,000 barrels per day of crude oil and up to 120,000 barrels per day of water. Nikaitchuq production is transported through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline to be sold on the market without the need for further treatment. Eni is now working toward achieving the new production target of 30,000 barrels per day in the next 12 months.
In the U.S., Eni owns interests in 200 leases in the Gulf of Mexico and 530 leases in unconventional plays (shale gas and shale oil) onshore Texas. In addition, Eni owns interests in 100 leases in the North Slope of Alaska, which include Nikaitchuq and 30% of the Oooguruk oil field, which has been in production since 2008. Total Eni’s daily net production is approximately 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent (75% operated).