Eni owns 100% working interest in the field, having obtained a 30% stake in the field through the acquisition of Armstrong Oil & Gas’s Alaskan assets and the remaining 70% operator stake from independent exploration and production firm Anadarko Petroleum, in the first quarter of 2007.

Nikaitchuq, which will be the first development project operated by Eni in Alaska, has recoverable reserves estimated at approximately 180 million barrels of oil. Total investment will amount to about $1.45 billion and first oil is expected at the end of 2009.

The field will be developed through some 70 wells, about one third of which will be drilled from onshore and the remainder drilled from an offshore artificial island built 4.5km from the coast.

Production will be sent to a newly built processing facility with a treatment capacity of 40,000 barrels per day, located in an onshore area close to the field, and then transported to the Kuparuk network, which is linked to the Trans-Alaska pipeline system.