ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has authorized Eni to drill an exploration well in the Beaufort Sea.
The prospect is in federal waters bordering theEni-operated Nikaitchuq field which lies in state territory and started production in 2011. The exploration area is Harrison Bay block 6423.
Under a program approved in July by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Eni plans a total of four exploration wells, comprising two extended-reach main bores and two side tracks, all to be drilled during the winter months through early 2019.
Drilling would extend 6 mi (10 km), and would employ a modified rig operated by Doyon Drilling.
According to Arctic Now, Eni plans to drill the well from an existing man-made island roughly 3 mi (4.8 km) offshore and used for Naikaitchuq. The permit allows operations to start on Dec. 15.
The BSEE added that it had performed a comprehensive review of Eni’s well design, procedures, and safety measures prior to issuing the drilling permit.