A domestic Ivoirian company, Ice Oil & Gas, has signed a licence to explore a block offshore, previously held by TotalEnergies.
Ice signed a production-sharing agreement (PSA) today on CI-705. The company reported the block covers 2,289 square km and is offshore Grand Lahou. Water depths on the area are up to 2,500 metres.
The exploration licence will run for seven years, Ice said, and it has committed to investing at least $40 million. It has a 90% stake in the area, while Petroci has 10%.
“Our expertise in the oil industry and our knowledge of the Ivorian sedimentary basin in particular were decisive in the award of this block,” said Ice CEO Philippe N’da.
“This contract marks a significant first step in our strategy to develop our exploration portfolio. We look forward to exploring this block and initiating geological and geophysical studies in this high-potential area.”
Ice said it had signed the PSA “after several months of negotiations”. The agreement is part of the company’s vision for energy autonomy in Cote d’Ivoire and West Africa.
On the hunt
A group of local professionals founded Ice in 2022. The company expressed its interest in CI-705 in December 2022 and the government approved the agreement in September this year.
Three wells have been drilled on the licence, including one in 2021. These wells did not find any hydrocarbons.
TotalEnergies drilled the Barracuda-1 exploration well in August 2021. After disappointing results, it relinquished all three of its blocks, CI-605, CI-706 and CI-705.
Ice president Jacques N’da worked for Petroci for more than 35 years, with work including the gas prospecting with Foxtrot. Philippe N’da has a background in seismic acquisition. He began his career as a credit analyst.
Murphy Oil entered Cote d’Ivoire in the summer, signing contracts for CI-102, CI-103, CI-502, CI-531 and CI-709.
Most of the recent activity in Cote d’Ivoire has focused on the country’s offshore in the east. CI-705 is further to the west.