Eni to Invest $10 Billion in Ivory Coast's Baleine Field for Oil and Gas Development

(Reuters) — Italy's Eni will invest $10 billion in the development of the Baleine field offshore Ivory Coast, which will take place in three phases from 2023 to 2027, Energy Minister Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly said on Thursday.

The Baleine field, where certified reserves are estimated at 2.5 billion barrels of oil and 3.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, was discovered in 2021 by the Italian energy group off the east coast of the West African country.

The field's crude oil production should reach 200,000 barrels per day by 2027, compared with 30,000 barrels per day in 2023, the energy minister said.

"With a total investment estimated at $10 billion, the Baleine project will have a lasting impact on our economy," he added.

Eni began oil and gas production from the field in late August, two years after its discovery.

Thursday's announcement came as Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara and Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi met in Abidjan to mark production start-up from the Baleine field and review the company's activities in the country, according to an Eni statement.

The field will also enable Ivory Coast to produce 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per year by 2027.

The energy minister said annual production of 150,000 metric tons of butane, equivalent to a third of current household consumption, will make the country less dependent on gas imports in the future.

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

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