In June 2019, we signed contracts for the two new exploration blocks CI-501 and CI-504 located in the eastern part of the sedimentary basin off the coast of Ivory Coast. The CI-501 block lies between 100 and 2,400 metres underwater, about 80 km south-west of the capital Abidjan. The CI-504 block (399 square kilometres) is between 1,000 and 2,350 metres, about 60 km south-west of the capital. We are the operator in both blocks with a 90% stake, while the state-owned Petroci holds the remaining 10%. The blocks are adjacent to the northern limit of Block CI-205. The geological continuity will mean they can be studied in synergy, using proprietary technologies and optimising costs. In 2015, through the subsidiary, Eni Côte d’Ivoire Limited, we acquired 30% of the CI-100 offshore exploration block. In March 2017, we were awarded two new exploration blocks called CI-101 and CI-205 located 50 km off the coast. The CI-101 block is located between 200 and 2,500 meters of water depth, 50 km south of the capital Abidjan, while the CI-205 block is between 2,000 and 2,700 metres and 80 km south-west of the capital. We are the operator in both blocks with a 90% stake, while the state-owned Petroci holds the remaining 10%.
In September 2021 we announced a major oil and associated gas discovery in block CI-101 offshore Ivory Coast. The well was drilled about 60 kilometers off the coast, in about 1,200 meters of water depth with the Saipem 10,000 drill ship. The discovery well Baleine-1x, been drilled on the Baleine prospect, is the first exploration well drilled by Eni in the Ivory Coast, and the first commercial discovery in the country in 20 years. The potential of the discovery is 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, with potential upside.