Eni begins early oil, gas production from Baleine field offshore Côte d’Ivoire

World Oil Staff August 28, 2023

(WO) –Eni has started production of oil and gas from the Baleine field offshore Côte d’Ivoire. This milestone comes less than two years after the discovery in September 2021, and less than a year and a half after the Final Investment Decision. This marks the first emissions-free - Scope 1 and 2 - production project in Africa.

FPSO for oil and gas production
Courtesy of Eni

Baleine currently stands as the largest hydrocarbon discovery in the Ivorian sedimentary basin. The fast time-to-market was made possible through Eni's phased development approach characteristic of recent projects, and along with its partner, Petroci, full collaboration.

For the initial phase, production takes place through the Baleine FPSO, a refurbished and upgraded Floating Production Storage and Offloading unit capable of handling up to 15,000 bpd of oil and around 25 Mscfd of associated gas. The start of Phase 2 is expected by the end of 2024 and will increase field production to 50,000 bpd of oil and approximately 70 Mscfd of associated gas. The third development phase aims to elevate field production up to 150,000 bpd of oil and 200 Mscfd of gas.

The entire gas production from the Baleine field in this development phase and the subsequent ones will be delivered onshore through a newly constructed pipeline. This will enable the country to meet its domestic electricity market demands, facilitate energy access, and strengthen its role as a regional energy hub for neighboring countries.

The project leverages the best available technologies to minimize emissions. Residual emissions are offset through initiatives developed within the country, including supplying and distributing improved stoves to local communities, eliminating the need for wood or coal for cooking. The stove distribution program, initiated in 2022, is expected to reach over one million people in the next 6 years. Simultaneously, Eni has launched studies for Nature-Based Solutions projects covering 380,000 hectares of protected forests.

Eni's presence in Côte d’Ivoire dates back to the 1960s with Agip Côte d’Ivoire. Eni re-entered the country in 2015 and 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: CI-205, CI-501, CI-401, and CI-801, all with the same partner, Petroci Holding.

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