Tullow acquires 90pc stake in Ivory Coast onshore blocks
Anglo-Irish exploration firm Tullow Oil has announced that it has acquired 90pc stakes in four onshore blocks in the Ivory Coast.
Petroci, the national oil company of the Ivory Coast, holds the remaining 10pc.
The four blocks - CI 518, CI519, CI301 and CI302 - cover 5,035 sq. km, and are located on the coastline of the Ivory Coast, mostly to the west of Abidjan.
Tullow believes that this acreage will complement the group's existing exploration portfolio, as the blocks are located in a proven petroleum system, indicated by multiple oil seeps and past production from the Eboinda Oil Sands.
If commercial discoveries are made, the maturity of the country’s oil industry suggests a relatively short and low-cost path to production.
In a statement today Tullow, which has worked in the Ivory Coast for 20 years both as an explorer and producer, said that it intends to initiate work immediately on these licences to allow a full tensor gradiometry (FTG) survey to start year next year.
This early survey data will be used to assess the potential of the licenses and guide future acquisition of seismic data.
Commenting on the news Paul McDade, CEO of Tullow Oil, said that he was "pleased" to have signed the licences for the blocks,
"We have a long history in Côte d'Ivoire having been in country since 1997 and I am excited about the potential that these blocks, with their proven petroleum system, offer," Mr McDade said.
Last month shares in Tullow rose following the resolution of a maritime dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast.
The agreement between the two west Africa countries means that Tullow's huge offshore TEN oil fields off Ghana will not be impacted by any change in national boundaries.
Earlier this year, the company - which is also exploring in Kenya, Jamaica and Suriname - raised $750m (€631m) in a rights issue and cut its debt from $4.8bn (€4bn) to $3.8bn (€3.2bn).