Eni hits massive oil, gas discoveries offshore Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast said it has made massive discovery” of oil and natural gas offshore after deepwater exploration by Italian firm Eni. AFP reports

Energy minister Thomas Camara said the find was estimated at between 1.5 and 2 billion barrels of oil and around 1.8-2.4 trillion cubic feet (51 million cubic metres) of gas. The firm added that it would now carry out a further evaluation of the wider potential of the find.

He said the development would “greatly increase Ivory Coast’s proven reserves in the coming years”.The 3,445-metre-deep well was drilled about 60 kilometres (40 miles) off the coast in 30 days, Eni said.

“An evaluation program will be carried out to assess the significant upside potential of the overall structure that extends into block CI-802, also operated by Eni,” the company said.

Baleine-1x is the first exploration well drilled in the Ivory Coast by Eni which has stakes in four other blocks in the Ivorian deep water.

Eni operates the block CI-101 with a 90% stake while Petroci Holding holds the remaining 10%.

In a 2019 investment worth $185 million, Ivory Coast signed contracts with Eni and French firm Total to explore the possibility of ramping up Ivorian production.

Ivory Coast to date has 51 identified oilfields with four in production, 26 in exploration and the remaining 21 still up for grabs.

In 2014, Total said exploration had shown “very promising” prospects.

Aside from Total and Eni, Britain’s Tullow Oil has also announced significant discoveries of Ivorian offshore oil reserves in recent years.

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