Italy's Eni announced a major oil discovery in block CI-101 in the offshore Ivory Coast, the company announced on Thursday.
Eni, with a 90% interest, operates the exploration phase of the block while Petroci Holding holds the remaining 10% share.
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, which reached a total depth of 3,445 meters in 30 days.
'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 of associated gas,' Eni announced.
This is Eni's first exploration well drilled off the Ivory Coast. As well as block CI-101, Eni owns a participating interest in four other blocks in Ivorian deep waters: CI-205, CI-501, CI-504 and CI-802, all with the same partner Petroci Holding.
The find comes after more than 20 years of exploration in the country's deep waters that did not yield any commercial discoveries since the last hydrocarbon discovery in 2001.
By Murat Temizer