ENI Makes Big Oil Discovery in Cote d’Ivoire

On 7th March 2024, during a meeting between Cote d’Ivoire President Alasanne Ouattara and ENI CEO Claudio Descalzi, both parties announced a ‘major discovery’ in Calao. The discovery occurred at the Murene 1X exploration well in concession block CI-205, which is located about 45 km off the coast in the Gulf of Guinea.

The Calao discovery is second only in terms of reserves to the Baleine discovery, which ENI made back in September 2021. According to preliminary assessments, the Calao field contains between 1 and 1.5 billion barrels of oil-equivalent.

Deep Value Driller (DVD) Ship

The Murene1X well drilled down to a depth of 5,000 m with 2,200 meters under water. The exploration encountered oil, gas and condensates at various intervals with good to excellent permeability values.

The drilling was carried out by the Deep Value Driller (DVD) ship operated by Saipem. The oil and gas venture is a partnership between ENI and the Ivorian National Company PetroCI. The JV also holds rights in several promising offshore blocks such as CI-101, CI-401, CI-501, CI 801 and more.

Cote d'Ivoire Hydrocarbon Blocks
Cote d’Ivoire Hydrocarbon Blocks

Currently, ENI extracts around 22,000 barrels of oil-equivalent daily from the Baleine field which started production in August 2023, less than two years after the discovery. Final Investment Decision (FID) was made in early 2022. Thus, if the Baleine field is any indication, we can expect the Calao field to become online quite fast.

At the same time, ENI is planning the Baleine Phase 2 expansion project. It will boost production to 50,000 barrels per day (BPD) of oil and 70 million standard cubic feet per day (MSCFD) of gas. As per roadmap, Phase 3 will further raise daily production to 150,000 BPD and 200 MSCFD.