FPSO Firenze; Source: Eni

FPSO on its way to work on Cote d’Ivoire’s ‘largest hydrocarbon discovery’

Italian oil and gas giant Eni has attended a sail away ceremony for a floating, production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which is destined to work on its offshore oil and gas field in Côte d’Ivoire.

FPSO Firenze; Source: Eni

Eni reported on Thursday, 6 April 2023, that it had celebrated in Dubai, in partnership with PetroCi, the sail away of the FPSO Firenze to the Baleine field offshore Côte d’Ivoire. The company explained that the event was attended by Mamadou Sangafowa-Coulibaly, Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Energy Côte of d’Ivoire, and other dignitaries. This FPSO will be renamed Baleine after its arrival in Cote d’Ivoire.

According to the Italian oil major, the FPSO Firenze will allow production start-up of the Baleine field, which the firm describes as the largest hydrocarbon discovery in Côte d’Ivoire to date, with an estimated oil in place of 2.5 billion barrels and 3.3 trillion cubic feet of associated gas. Eni highlights that the development of Baleine will be Africa’s first net-zero emission project (Scope 1 and 2). 

Based on the company’s statement, the FPSO Firenze has been refurbished and upgraded in order to allow it to treat up to 15,000 bbl/d of oil and around 25 Mcfd/d of associated gas while the entire gas production will be delivered onshore via a newly built export pipeline. Eni underlines that the installation of the subsea production system and well completion campaign are underway and will ensure an accelerated start-up of production by June 2023.

The Italian giant claims that its phased development model and fast track have proven to be effective, as the project is set to start production less than two years from the Baleine 1X discovery well and one and a half years after the FID. The Baleine East 1X well was drilled using the Saipem 12000 drillship. The well reached its final depth of 3,165 m measured depth, in a water depth of about 1,150 m.

Sail away ceremony for FPSO Firenze; Source: Eni
Sail away ceremony for FPSO Firenze; Source: Eni

Furthermore, Eni emphasises that it is committed to sustainable development, and the Baleine field’s net-zero emission project is “a significant step towards achieving this goal.” In addition, the firm says it is already “progressing swiftly” on the second phase of the project forecasting a start-up of production by December 2024 after having taken the FID in December 2022.

While the Baleine field extends over blocks CI-101 and CI-802, Eni also owns interests in four other blocks in the Ivorian deepwater: CI-205, CI-501, CI-401, and CI-801, all with the same partner, PetroCi Holding. The Italian player underscores that it looks forward to contributing to the development of Côte d’Ivoire’s hydrocarbon industry with the Baleine field and its other projects in the Ivorian deepwater.

Regarding its development of the Baleine field, Eni awarded two contracts worth approximately €1 billion euros (around $956 million) overall to Saipem in September 2022. The first deal was for engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) activities of subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) and of an onshore gas pipeline for the connection to the distribution grid.

On the other hand, the second contract encompasses EPCI activities regarding the refurbishment of the FPSO Firenze vessel, plus ten years of operations and maintenance services for the vessel.