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No injuries reported in fire that destroyed North Slope oil field camp

No one was hurt in a Saturday night fire that destroyed a North Slope camp for oil field workers operated by Eni Petroleum, an Italian firm.

The fire at the Nikaitchuq Operations Camp started around midnight Saturday, Eni Petroleum Safety and Environmental Manager Whitney Grande said in an e-mail Sunday.

Strong winds blowing at 23 mph caused the fire to "progress quickly," Grande wrote, but the fire caused no no injuries, oil spill or disruption to production at the Nikaitchuq oil field.

"The camp was evacuated and all personnel were unharmed and accounted for," Grande wrote.

Displaced workers were moved to a nearby camp, he wrote. The company said it is working to replace workers' personal items lost in the fire.

The camp housed about 80 employees of Eni's North Slope drilling operations. It included living quarters, a galley and offices and was known as one of the more modern housing facilities for workers on the North Slope.

The company is investigating the cause of the fire, Grande said.

Eni Petroleum is the sole owner of the Nikaitchuq Operations Camp, which serves an offshore oil field less than a half-mile away. The field is the Rome, Italy-based Eni's first foray into Arctic drilling.

The Nikaitchuq field, estimated to hold 200 million barrels of crude oil, started production in early 2011, according to the company.

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