The Norwegian unit of Italian energy giant
) − Eni Norge AS − has finally received approval from the
Norwegian authorities for the start-up of its drilling operation
in the much awaited Goliat oilfield in the Barents Sea.
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The company said that it intends to start the drilling program
this month for the estimated 50-day probe in production license
229. The appraisal well − 7122/7-6 − is the first in the venture
and the Saipem semi-submersible rig Scarabeo 8 will perform the
Under the five-year, $840 million worth contract, this campaign
includes the drilling of the additional 22 development wells
apart from the appraisal well. The development well drilling is
intended to start in November and will likely take
The drilling campaign of the filed is already running three years
behind schedule due to construction delays related to the field's
production unit at South Korean yard Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Hence, the start-up of Goliat field, Norway's first operating
oilfield in the Barents Sea, was extended to the third quarter of
2014 from the earlier target of late 2013.
Owing to the delays and other manufacturing alterations on the
floater, along with elevated equipment prices and longer lead
times on deliveries, the cost of the project spiraled by 20% to
The field was awarded to Eni n the 'Barents Sea Round' in 1997
and hit its first oil in 2000. Eni operates the field with a 65%
stake, while the state-run company
) enjoys the remaining 35% interest.
Apart from Statoil, Eni is one of the main operators on the
Norwegian continental shelf since 1965. The company is
well-established in all the three core areas on the shelf, i.e.
the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.
Eni retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which is equivalent to a short-term
Hold rating. We also maintain our Neutral recommendation for the