Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Italy's Eni said Thursday it will buy the rights of all of the Oooguruk oil field in shallow waters offshore Alaska and become its operator because its proximity to the Nikaitchuq field will provide synergies.
The second field that Eni will now own and operate in Alaska yields 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from 25 oil wells and 15 gas/water injector wells. Eni said it gains synergies because it is only eight miles from the Nikaitchuq field it developed in 2011, which produces 18,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Eni already had a 30 percent interest in Oooguruk, which was majority owned by Caelus Natural Resources Alaska, and which like Nitaitchuq is located in shallow waters just off the northern Alaskan North Slope coast.
"The acquisition of the 70 percent of Oooguruk will allow Eni to immediately increase its Alaskan production by approximately 7,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day gross, and to implement important operational synergies and optimizations between Oooguruk and Nikaitchuq," the company said.
"Eni plans to drill further production wells at Oooguruk and Nikaitchuq, with the target to increase its total Alaska production beyond 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day," it added.
Eni did not reveal a transaction amount nor provide a date to reach its target output.
Caelus Energy had estimated potential of 100 to 150 million barrels of oil equivalent reserves for Oooguruk, which has produced more than 25 million barrels of oil since it was developed in 2008. The field includes a six-acre gravel island and subsea connections to an onshore pad.
As for Nikaitchuq, according to independent information from Offshore Techonology's website, it was developed in 2011, two years later than planned, at a cost of $1.5 billion. The field is estimated to contain 220 million barrels of oil in two reservoirs.
Eni said that the added operation will strengthen its presence in Alaska, following its August 2018 acquisition of 124 exploration leases covering 350,000 acres in the Eastern North Slope.
In the United States, Eni is present in 21 oil and gas fields, of which 11 are operated, for a net production of about 60,000 barrels of oil per day. In the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, Eni holds 228 leases.
According to the latest monthly production report by the United States Energy Information Administration, Alaska produced 487,000 barrels per day in October, down 4 percent from the same month a year earlier.