Italian explorer ENI is making progress as the sole developer of the massive Baleine discovery it made in Block CI-802 offshore Cote d’voire in 2021.
But the company is open to having a partner with good money to farm in and share the costs.
ENI has an 83% stake in Block CI-802, with state-hydrocarbon company Petroci, being carried with 10% equity.
The Italian giant has not openly declared the need for farminee, but the ultimate cost of the deepwater development at over $10Billion naturally calls for a well-heeled, get-along partner, even when the development is a multi-phased activity for which the funding is provided in bits.
ENI is fast tracking the development with first oil targeted for the second quarter of 2023. The first phase envisages a fast-track subsea tieback to the Firenze FPSO, which will produce from three subsea wells in 1200 metres of water, with oil exported by shuttle tanker and gas piped to thermal power stations in the Ivory Coast..
A full-field development will involve many more subsea wells probably tied back to a bigger production facility, perhaps a bigger FPSO or a shallow water fixed platform.
An appraisal cum exploration drilling was successfully delivered in August 2022, boosting reserves, according to the company, by 25% to 2.5Billion barrels of oil and 3.3Trillion cubic feet of gas. It is not clear if these are ultimately recoverable reserves or contingent resources.
A partner choosing to take a 40% equity in the project will be funding up to $5Billion of the project. Analysts put the cost per barrel at a low $4.2 and NPV10 at a $1.2Billion. The 40% farminee will be entitled to at least 300Million barrels of oil and 400Billion cubic feet of gas.