Saipem, the Italian offshore energy and LNG feed-gas specialist, was awarded a new drilling contract worth €400 million ($424M) in the Côte d'Ivoire in West Africa where the Baleine Phase 1 project for offshore oil and associated gas is currently moving forward to maintain the country's status as an African energy hub.
The contract was awarded by Italian oil and gas company Eni and the African nation's state energy company, Société Nationale d'Opérations Pétrolières de la Côte d'Ivoire (Petroci).
The value of the Saipem contract is to be considered gross of the leasing costs of the very high-tech “Deep Value Driller” vessel that will be used for the operations.
The seventh-generation “Deep Value Driller” is one of the most modern in the world for which Saipem has a charter agreement.
“The award of this contract represents an important consolidation of Saipem's presence in the Ivory Coast, a strategic area where the company is currently executing the project for the development of the Baleine oil and associated gas field,” said Saipem.
“This field was discovered in the recent past thanks to the drilling activities of the ‘Saipem 10000’ and ‘Saipem 12000’ vessels,” added the Milan-based company.
The Baleine project referred to by Saipem is offshore block CI-101 which is forecast to hold up to 2.0 billion barrels of oil in place and 2.4 trillion cubic feet of associated gas located at water depth of 1,200 metres.
Baleine was discovered in 2021 as the largest commercial discovery in the country in the last 20 years and set to contribute substantially to energy production in Côte d'Ivoire.
The Côte d'Ivoire’s mainly oil production has varied significantly over the past two decades as existing fields have become depleted, closed for maintenance or development works and as new discoveries have been made but have needed further investment and development.