Eni boosting its Middle East portfolio
Eni has been growing its Middle East portfolio through a number of agreements signed in early 2019. It has expanded its presence in United Arab Emirates (UAE) following the acquisition of a 70% stake in offshore block 1 and 2. Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Company (PTTEP) holds the remaining 30% stake. The two blocks are the first to be awarded as part of Abu Dhabi’s first-ever open block licensing round held in April 2018.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has an option to hold a 60% stake, following a commercial discovery. Under the terms of the agreements, Eni will operate the concessions and invest with PTTEP over $230mn to explore for oil and gas and appraise the existing discoveries in the two blocks. The exploration phase of the agreement has a maximum period of nine years and, subject to successful exploration, an overall concession term will extend to 35 years for development.
Eni has also signed exploration concessions for onshore Area A, B and C in the Sharjah Emirate. It will act as operator of Areas A and C, holding a 75% participating interest, with SNOC acting as partner with a 25% stake. Meanwhile, SNOC will act as operator of Area B, holding a 50% participating interest, with Eni holding the remaining 50%.
In addition, the Italian company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore in Block 1 offshore northern Bahrain, and an E&P sharing agreement for Block 47 onshore Oman. Eni will be the operator of Block 47, holding a 90% participating interest, with OOCEP holding the remaining 10%. Exploration operations are expected to commence in 2019. Furthermore, Eni and BP have signed a head of agreement (HoA) that sets up the principles for the acquisition of the E&P rights for Block 77 onshore Oman, located 30 km east of the BP-operated Khazzan field.
Looking elsewhere, Eni has also acquired from Caelus Natural Resources a 70% stake in, and operatorship of, the Oooguruk oil field in Alaska. The acquisition provides 7,000 b/d of oil and offers important operational synergies with its nearby 100% owned and operated Nikaitchuq field. Eni already owns the remaining 30% working interest in Oooguruk, located in the Beaufort Sea. The company plans to drill further production wells at Oooguruk and Nikaitchuq, aiming to increase its total Alaskan production beyond 30,000 boe/d.