Eni begins oil and gas production at Ivory Coast Baleine field

ABIDJAN/MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s Eni has begun oil and gas production at the giant Baleine field in deep waters offshore Ivory Coast, the energy group said on Monday, confirming a previous announcement by the Ivorian energy ministry.

The Italian energy group, whose presence in the African country dates back to the 1960s with its subsidiary Agip Côte d’Ivoire, discovered the field in September 2021.

“The first oil from Baleine is a milestone in Eni’s operations. Stemming from an extraordinary exploration success, we have achieved an industry-leading time-to-market of under two years from the declaration of commercial discovery,” Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said.

For the initial phase, production will take place through a production storage and offloading vessel capable of handling up to 15,000 barrels of oil per day (bbl/d) and around 25 million standard cubic feet of associated gas per day (Mscf/d).

The start of the second phase is expected by the end of 2024 and will increase field production to 50,000 bbl/d of oil and approximately 70 Mscf/d of associated gas.

The third development phase aims to elevate field production up to 150,000 bbl/d of oil and 200 Mscf/d of gas, Eni said.

In Ivory Coast Eni currently holds interests in the CI-101 and CI-802 blocks – where the Baleine field extends – as well as in four other deep-water Ivorian blocks, all with Petroci Holding as a partner.

(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly in Abidjan and Francesca Landini in Milan; Writing by Edward McAllister and Francesca Landini; Editing by Sharon Singleton and Susan Fenton)