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Italy’s energy major Eni said it started on Monday oil and gas production from an offshore field in Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa less than two years after the discovery.
Production at the Baleine field, currently the largest oil and gas discovery in Ivorian sedimentary basin, started via a refurbished and upgraded Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit capable of handling up to 15,000 barrels per day of oil and around 25 Mscf/d of associated gas. With a second and third phase of development, the field will see production rise to 150,000 bpd of oil and 200 Mscf/d of gas, the Italian company said.
The gas production from the Baleine field will be delivered onshore through a newly constructed pipeline, enabling Cote d’Ivoire to meet its domestic electricity market demands, facilitate energy access, and strengthen its role as a regional energy hub for neighboring countries, Eni noted.
Europe and Eni are also increasingly betting on Africa to import large volumes of pipeline gas and LNG to replace pipeline gas supply from Russia, which was Europe’s top gas supplier before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Eni has been particularly active in securing more natural gas supply for Europe from Africa and has fast-tracked projects in Africa to meet Europe’s gas demand in the absence of Russian pipeline deliveries.
In April, Eni launched the construction works for the first natural gas liquefaction project in the Republic of the Congo, which is expected to supply LNG to Europe.
Early this year, Eni’s chief executive Claudio Descalzi told the Financial Times in an interview that Europe should look to Africa for a “south-north” energy axis that would deliver gas from Africa to the EU.
At the announcement of the 2022 results in February, Descalzi said, “During the year, we were able to finalize agreements and activities to fully replace Russian gas by 2025, leveraging our strong relationships with producing states and fast-track development approach to ramp-up volumes from Algeria, Egypt, Mozambique, Congo and Qatar.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.