Italy’s Eni has begun producing natural gas from its Longhorn field in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM), the company said Monday. The field will initially produce at a rate of approximately 200 MMcf/d.

Longhorn is in Mississippi Canyon Blocks 502 and 546, 60 miles off the Louisiana coast. Eni operates the field with a 75% working interest, while Nexen Inc. holds the remaining 25%. Gas is being produced from four subsea wells in a water depth of 2,500 feet. The wells are connected to the Eni-operated Corral platform, previously known as Crystal.

The platform is a conventional jacket structure in Mississippi Canyon Block 365 about 20 miles northwest of the field in 620 feet of water. It has been fitted with a newly built production and compression facility with a processing capacity of 250 MMcf/d and 6,000 b/d of oil. The Longhorn project achieved its first production in just over three years from the initial exploration discovery made in July 2006 (see Daily GPI, Feb. 5, 2007), and was completed in less than two years from the sanction, Eni said.

In addition to the Longhorn field, the Corral platform is being outfitted to increase liquids production capacity up to 12,000 b/d to accommodate the future tie-in of the Appaloosa oil field, which is owned 100% by Eni and is under development with production anticipated to start in 2010.

In the United States Eni owns lease interests in 376 blocks in the GOM and is among the leading producers with a daily net production capacity in excess of 100,000 boe (60% operated). Eni is also present in Alaska, where it owns interests in 172 leases between offshore and the North Slope and is advancing development of the company-operated Nikaitchuq project.

This year Eni joined U.S. independent Quicksilver Resources Inc. in the development of the “Alliance Area” with the acquisition of 27.5% interest. This area produces shale gas from the Barnett Shale in the Fort Worth Basin.

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