Ivory Coast to double O&G output by 2020

Ivory Coast to double O&G output by 2020

Ivory Coast plans to roughly double oil and gas output by 2020 as it pushes for foreign investment in offshore exploration, the head of state-controlled oil and gas company Petroci announced on Wednesday.

The West African country has developed natural gas deposits for domestic consumption but has ignored its energy sector for decades as the government concentrated on developing the agriculture sector. Authorities are now looking to develop offshore reserves in the Gulf of Guinea.

Ibrahima Diaby, Petroci’s managing director said they have around 60 exploration blocks and have been awarded about 20.

“With current exploration our ambition is to reach 200,000 barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) in 2020,” Diaby added.

This is about twice the amount of current output levels.

Companies either currently organising exploration in Ivory Coast or preparing to do so include France’s Total (LSE:TTA), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Anadarko (NYSE:APC), and Africa-focused Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW) Russia’s second-largest oil producer Lukoil withdrew from its Ivorian operations earlier this year.

Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ) and Ivory Coast’s Foxtrot International had raised daily natural gas production to 250 million cubic feet from 220 million three years ago.

The country’s daily crude output has risen to 53,000 barrels per day from around 30,000 bpd last year.

Ivory Coast also plans to begin importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) to boost domestic supply to its gas-fired power plants.

Endeavour Energy announced in March that it was looking to secure financing by the end of 2016 for a US$900 million gas-fired power project in Ivory Coast that would be fuelled by imported LNG.