Eni has spud a new oil well from the Spy Island drillsite, a manmade island in the Beaufort Sea, offshore Alaska, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) reported on 27 December, 2017.
The start of drilling follows BSEE’s 28 November approval of Eni’s Beaufort Sea plans and a pre-drill inspection that took place from 6-10 December.
Eni plans to drill 4 exploration wells – including 2 mainbores and 2 sidetracks – over the next 2 years from its Nikaitchuq North project.
The firm plans to use extended-reach drilling techniques to target a formation in the Harrison Bay Block 6423 unit, a 13-lease unit on the Outer Continental Shelf that BSEE approved in December 2016.
Eni and Shell will jointly explore the unit using the Doyon Rig 15, BSEE reported last month.
The new Trump administration is hoping to reverse industry views on Arctic drilling, after years of heavy regulations from the Obama administration led many major oil companies, including Shell and Statoil to relinquish their US Arctic leases in the Chukchi Sea, offshore Alaska, back in 2016. Shell spent approximately $1 billion to drill the Burger J prospect, in the Chukchi Sea, which failed to prove oil.
In July this year, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management gave Eni the greenlight for its Beaufort Sea drilling plan.
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