The Baleine project is the largest finding of hydrocarbons made by an energy company in Côte d'Ivoire, as well as the first commercial discovery made in the Country, in the past 20 years. In particular, it will allow the country to further increase domestic access to energy. Thanks to this discovery, Côte d'Ivoire will also strengthen its role as a regional energy hub for neighbouring countries. Currently, the country has one of the most widespread electric systems in Western Africa, the third after Nigeria and Ghana, with about 10-20% of the electric production being exported to Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Benin, Togo and Liberia. Therefore, Baleine’s gas production will be strategic to increase the domestic and regional offer, while the oil production will contribute to relaunching exports. And there’s more: Baleine will be the first net-zero emission development (Scope 1 and 2) in Africa, thanks to innovative projects.
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The benefits brought by Baleine to Ivory Coast
The field launch into production will contribute to the Country’s local development.
The exploration in a nutshell
In September 2021, we drilled the NFW Baleine 1X well in Block CI-101, approximately 70 km off the coast of Abidjan and at 1,200 metres of depth, making a major oil and associated gas discovery, which also extends to Block CI-802, where a well was successfully drilled in August 2022. This has allowed us to increase the potential of the discovery to approximately 2.5 billion barrels of oil in place and 100 billion cubic metres of associated gas, with production expected to start in mid-2023.
The Baleine project development
To optimise the field’s potential and the investments, the development strategy will take place in phases, in line Eni’s development model. Phase 1 is expected to start in mid-2023. In order to enhance the field, the FPSO Firenze vessel, which sailed from Dubai on 6 April 2023, where it had been docked and underwent refitting and upgrading to the latest technologies, will be used for Phase 1, while Phase 2 is expected to start by the end of 2024, using an existing FPSO, which will be renovated to ensure an initial boost, optimizing costs and times and minimizing raw and construction material waste. From the FPSO, directly connected to the production wells, the oil will be loaded onto tankers and transported to destination, while the gas will be sent across land to the Abidjan plant, through a dedicated gas pipeline, supplying the electric market in Côte d'Ivoire and the region.
Baleine’s phased development strategy
FPSO Firenze will be used. The start of production is expected in mid-2023.
A FPSO being updated to the latest technologies will be used. The launch is expected before 2024
Emission-compensating initiatives: reforestation and improved cookstoves
The Baleine emissions will be compensated through innovative initiatives, in line with the Net-Zero strategy. Since June 2022, we are distributing energy-efficient cookstoves, produced locally, which will improve the livelihoods of approximately 800.000 people.
Furthermore, some projects are being defined for the preservation, recovery and management of forests covering a 380,000-hectare area, including forests in various parts of the country. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Ministry of Water and Forestry for a feasibility study in the areas identified. The majority of the activities, implemented in conjunction with local Institutions, will start in 2023, aiming to:
- prevent deforestation in the areas identified, as specified by the UN REDD+ Program
- increase forestry areas, which are a primary natural resource for carbon storage
- preserve the areas identified, through sustainable forest management.
Promotion of improved cooking systems in Ivory Coast
To improve the living conditions of families and reduce the carbon footprint, we have begun distributing improved cookstoves.Find out more
Safety in the workplace is an imperative value we want to share with our employees, contractors and local stakeholders. We are committed to eliminate accidents and protect the integrity of our assets. We consolidate a culture of safety through management and organization models, digital tools and communication initiatives. Our goal is strengthening the awareness of our people and their sense of responsibility toward themselves and others, by expanding HSE tools and digitalization to make corporate processes safer, more efficient and faster.
Our results to date
cubic feet (TCF) of associated gas (discovery's potential)
production is expected to start in the middle of the year
involved in forestry preservation, recovery and management projects
who will benefit overall from the distribution of improved cookstoves
Keep up to date with the latest news about our work in the country and our projects in the region.
Read also about E&P activities
Selected contents on this issue.