Italian oil company Eni on Wednesday announced a major oil discovery in block CI-101 offshore Ivory Coast.

“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,” Eni said.

The discovery well has been drilled on the Baleine prospect using the Saipem 10,000 drillship. The Baleine-1x discovered light oil (40° API) in two different stratigraphic levels.

Eni said it would carry out an evaluation program to assess the significant upside potential of the overall structure that extends into block CI-802, also operated by Eni.

The well was drilled about 60 kilometers off the coast, in about 1,200 meters, 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,” Eni said.

According to Eni, the lower Cenomanian / Albian level shows discrete to good reservoir characteristics and has been successfully tested to production. Along with the appraisal program, Eni and its partner, Petroci Holding will also start studies for a fast-track development of the Baleine discovery. 

Baleine-1x is the first exploration well drilled by Eni in the Ivory Coast. Besides block CI-101, Eni owns a participating interest in the other four blocks in the Ivorian deep water: CI-205,

CI-501, CI-504, and CI-802, all with the same partner Petroci Holding.

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