Photo: Saipem 10000 drillship; Source: Saipem

Eni hits major oil find off Ivory Coast

Italian oil and gas player Eni has made a major oil discovery in block CI-101, located offshore Ivory Coast.

The block is operated by Eni with a 90 per cent interest with Petroci Holding holding 10 per cent interest.

Eni said on Wednesday that the discovery well has been drilled on the Baleine prospect. Baleine-1x discovered light oil (40° API) in two different stratigraphic levels. An evaluation program will be carried out to assess the significant upside potential of the overall structure that extends into block CI-802, also operated by Eni with the same Joint-Venture and participating interests in the exploration phase.

The well was drilled about 60 kilometres off the coast, in about 1,200 meters of water depth with the Saipem 10,000 drillship and reached a total depth of 3,445 meters in 30 days.

The Baleine-1x well was located on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of a wide range of 3D seismic data and regional studies in the sedimentary basin in Ivory Coast; the implementation of state-of-the-art technology including intelligent wireline formation testing and fluid sampling proved the presence of light oil bearing intervals of Santonian and Cenomanian / Albian age. The lower Cenomanian / Albian level shows discrete to good reservoir characteristics and has been successfully tested to production.

Along with the appraisal programme, Eni and Petroci Holding will also start studies for a fast-track development of the Baleine discovery. The potential of the discovery can be preliminarily estimated at between 1.5 and 2.0 billion barrels of oil in place and between 1.8 and 2.4 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of associated gas.

Baleine-1x is the first exploration well drilled by Eni in the Ivory Coast. Besides block CI-101, Eni owns a participating interest in other four blocks in the Ivorian deep water: CI-205, CI-501, CI-504 and CI-802, all with the same partner Petroci Holding.