African state makes major new offshore oil discovery

A major new oilfield is expected to make Côte d’Ivoire one of the ten biggest producers on the continent

A major oilfield has been discovered off the shores of Côte d’Ivoire by Italy’s energy giant Eni in cooperation with state-run Petroci International, Eni announced on Friday.

Crude reserves at the site, named Calao, are the second largest in the country after the Baleine field discovered by Eni in September 2021. Exploratory drilling “encountered light oil, gas, and condensates in various intervals of Cenomanian age characterized by good to excellent permeability values,” the company said.

Potential resources range from one to 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to preliminary assessments carried out by the Italian energy firm, which operates Block CI-205, where the find is located, in partnership with Petroci Holding.

President Alassane Ouattara and Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi have discussed plans for the offshore field, including Eni’s commitment to meet domestic fuel needs.

The newly found reserves are expected to turn Côte d’Ivoire into one of Africa’s ten biggest oil producers.

The Italian oil and gas major has been operating in the West African state since 2015. In addition to Block CI-205, Eni holds participating interests in five other blocks in Ivorian deep waters, in partnership with Petroci.

In August, Eni started production of oil and gas at the Baleine Field, less than two years after it was discovered. The company invested $10 billion in the development of the field in Côte d’Ivoire waters, which currently produces around 22,000 barrels per day. Baleine’s certified reserves are estimated at 2.5 billion barrels of oil and 3.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

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