Eni has made a major discovery offshore Cote d’Ivoire at its Baleine-1x well.
The Italian company said it had made the find on the offshore CI-101 block. Eni is the operator with a 90% stake, while Petroci has the remaining 10%.
It plans to begin studies on a fast-track development of the Baleine discovery. The find has been estimated as holding 1.5-2 billion barrels of oil and 1.8-2.4 trillion cubic feet of associated gas.
The Baleine discovery demonstrates a new play concept in Cote d’Ivoire, Eni said, after more than 20 years in the country.
The Saipem 10,000 drillship carried out the work, in around 1,200 metres of water. It reached a total depth of 3,445 metres. The well site is around 60 km offshore.
The Baleine-1x found 40 degree API oil in two different stratigraphic levels. Eni plans to evaluate the find, which may extend into CI-802. The Italian company also holds this second block.
The CI-101 and CI-205 blocks are in the east of the Tano Basin, covering 2,850 square km. Eni won the blocks in March 2017. The block holding the Baleine discovery is 50 km south of Abidjan.
The company said it had drilled the well following 3D seismic data and regional studies.
It found oil in the Santonian and Cenomanian-Albian age intervals. The lower level shows good reservoir characteristics and has been tested for production.
Eni also has stakes in CI-205, CI-501 and CI-504. Eni returned to Cote d’Ivoire in 2015, with a move into CI-100.
When the company acquired the blocks, it said that the areas were in line with its dual exploration strategy. Under this, Eni said it aims to acquire majority stakes in exploration areas and then monetising resources through the sale of minority stakes.