Eni and Petroci have awarded two contracts for work in Cote d’Ivoire to Saipem, worth around 1 billion euros ($956 million).
The Italian contractor will carry out work on the first phase of the Baleine project.
Eni drilled the discovery well offshore in around 1,200 metres of water in September 2021. Within five months it took final investment decision (FID).
Saipem intends to begin work in the fourth quarter of this year. Eni has said it intends to reach first oil from Baleine in the first half of 2023.
The first contract covers engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of subsea, umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF). It also includes an onshore gas pipeline to distribute to the national grid.
Saipem will lay the offshore lines using its FDS2 vessel.
The second contract covers engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning on the Firenze FPSO vessel. This involves refurbishing of the vessel plus 10 years of operations and maintenance.
Eni has a 90% stake in the project, while state-owned Petroci has 10%. The Eni Cote d’Ivoire-Petroci consortium awarded the contract.
It will carry out both contracts on a fast-track basis, Saipem said.
It described the award of the contracts as recognition of its role as “a contractor of excellence”. In particular, it noted the complexity of integrating drilling, engineering and construction, on- and offshore, on a fast-track basis.
Saipem has been involved in drilling on the field, through the provision of its Saipem 10000 and Saipem 12000 vessels.
Eni had been using the Firenze FPSO offshore Italy, on the Aquila field. Saipem had owned the vessel, before selling it to Eni in 2013. The FPSO left the field in 2018.
Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi visited Cote d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara in early September. The company provided an updated resource for Baleine, reporting it held 2.5 billion barrels of oil and 3.3 trillion cubic feet of gas.
A production test on the Baleine E1X well flowed at least 12,000 barrels per day of oil. A second phase on Baleine may increase production to 150,000 bpd of oil.
Updated at 1:47 pm to correct name of contracting consortium.