5 Recent Developments in Ivory Coast’s O&G Sector

Exploration campaigns in Ivory Coast have revealed substantial deposits of hydrocarbons, with the Baleine field alone estimated to hold as much as 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil and 3.3 trillion cubic feet of gas. In recent months, the country has witnessed numerous developments across the industry, highlighting the scale of interest and wealth of opportunity present in the oil and gas market.

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Eni’s Baleine Investment

Oil and gas major Eni is investing $10 billion in the development of the Baleine field offshore Ivory Coast – discovered in 2021. The field commenced production in August 2023, with 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) produced. The field is estimated to hold as much as 2.5 billion barrels of oil and 3.3 trillion cubic feet of gas and the investment aims to increase output to 200,000 bpd.

Calao Discovery

Eni made a sizeable discovery in Block C1-205 in March 2024. The Calao find is estimated to hold between 1 and 1.5 billion barrels of indicated reserves. Recognized by National Oil Company Petroci as the country’s second-largest find, Calao’s resources could likely support the industrial sectors of Ivory Coast. The discovery is expected to generate substantial revenues, creating over 8,000 direct and indirect jobs and attracting increased investments to the sector. Authorities are targeting exploitation of the Calao field by 2026, leveraging its potential to bolster the nation’s economy and energy stability.

Vaalco Acquires Svenska’s Interests

Exploration company Vaalco Energy finalized a sales and purchase agreement with holding group Petroswede to acquire its subsidiary Svenska Petroleum Exploration in March 2024. This strategic move grants Vaalco Energy a 27.39% stake in the Baobab field – located in Block CI-40 offshore Ivory Coast. The acquisition, valued at $66.5 million, will be financed through a combination of a pre-closing dividends from Svenska’s balance sheet and Vaalco’s existing cash reserves. The transaction is slated to be completed during the second quarter of 2024.

PSA Between Ice Oil & Gas and Petroci

Ice Oil & Gas signed a production sharing agreement (PSA) with Ivory Coast’s national oil company Petroci for offshore block CI-705 in November 2023. The block spans 2289 km2 in the Grand Lahou area. The PSA grants Ice Oil & Gas a seven-year exploration period with a commitment to invest at least US$40 million in hydrocarbon exploration. The company will operate with a 90% stake, with Petroci holding an initial 10% stake as per local laws.

Murphy Oil’s Exploration Campaign

Exploration and production company Murphy Oil signed production sharing contracts for five Ivory Coast blocks with national oil company Petroci in June 2023. The company’s portfolio includes blocks stretching from shallow waters offshore Abidjan to deepwater areas. Notably, CI-103 holds the Paon deep-water gas and light oil field, while CI-531 and CI-709 show development potential from previous drilling activities.

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