The Ivory Coast, a modest producer of hydrocarbons, announced on Wednesday the “major discovery” of oil and natural gas off its coasts during an exploratory drilling carried out by the Italian hydrocarbon giant Eni.
“A major discovery of oil in the sedimentary basin of the Ivory Coast has just been made by the Italian company Eni in the CI-101 block, in deep water, operated in consortium with the national company Petroci Holding”, indicates in a statement by the Ivorian Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Thomas Camara. “The discovered reserves relate to crude oil and associated natural gas.”
The potential “can be estimated in a preliminary way at around 1.5 to 2 billion barrels of crude oil on the one hand, and on the other hand at around 1,800 to 2,400 billion cubic feet of associated gas,” he said. Thomas Camara, reporting “an important discovery which would thus greatly increase the proven reserves of Côte d’Ivoire, as well as its oil and gas production in the years to come”.
Côte d’Ivoire signed contracts in 2019 with the Italian Eni and the French Total, for the exploration of four oil blocks corresponding to an investment of 185 million dollars.
Oil production in Côte d’Ivoire, which increased by 12% in 2019 to more than 36,000 barrels per day, comes from drilling wells located mainly offshore, near the border with Ghana.
Côte d’Ivoire, revised its petroleum code in 2015 to attract new investors, thanks to production sharing contracts.
The country has 51 identified fields, four of which are in production, 26 in exploration and 21 still open or under negotiation.
In 2014, the French group Total had mentioned a “very promising result” about its research in very deep waters off the Ivory Coast. In addition to Total and Eni, several international companies, in particular the British Tullow Oil, have announced important discoveries in recent years.