Eni has commenced oil production on its first Arctic project at the Nikaitchuq field, located offshore the North Slope of Alaska.

The field has recoverable reserves estimated at 220 million barrels of oil and an expected lifecycle of 30 years.

The field’s 30 offshore facilities are connected to 22 onshore facilities by a seabed pipeline bundle, which is the heaviest bundle ever installed in the Arctic, according to Eni.

Eni built two process and utilities modules of 4,000t each in Louisiana, and the remaining facilities comprising 22 modules were constructed in Alaska.

The processing facilities were designed and built with technology to minimise the impact on the environment. The crude oil will be shipped through the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline, with no need for further processing.

The processing plant will treat 40,000 barrels per day of heavy crude with sand and up to 120,000 barrel per day of water.