Italian explorer Eni has reported "excellent results" from its latest exploration well offshore Ivory Coast, West Africa, resulting in a 25% increase in the resource estimate for the Balaine field.
The Baleine East 1X well was the first exploration well in block CI-802 and second discovery on the Baleine structure. Hydrocarbons in place at the Balaine field are now estimated at 2.5 billion barrels of oil and 3.3 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of associated gas.
Baleine East 1X was drilled in the CI-802 block, operated by Eni (90%), together with its partner Petroci Holding (10%), using the Saipem 12000 drilling ship. The well reached its final depth of 3,165 m measured depth, in a water depth of about 1,150 m.
Baleine East 1X is located about 5 km east of the Baleine 1X discovery well in the adjacent block CI-101 and represents the first commercial discovery in the CI-802 block, confirming the extension of the Baleine field, says Eni.
The company says that the well confirmed the presence of a continuous oil column of about 48 m in reservoir rocks with good properties. From the vertical borehole a horizontal drain of 850 m in length was subsequently drilled into the reservoir to perform a production test that confirmed a potential of at least 12,000 bbl/d of oil and 14 Mscf/d of associated gas of production from the well Baleine East 1X.
Eni says a third well will now be drilled to ensure, together with the other two already drilled, the accelerated start-up of production, confirming first oil in the first half of 2023 - about a year and half from Baleine 1X discovery well.
The results of the Baleine East 1X well and its production performances will allow the optimization of the further full field development phases, says Eni.
In addition to CI-101 and CI-802 blocks, on which the Baleine field extends, Eni owns interests in five other blocks in the Ivorian deepwater: CI-205, CI-501, CI-504, CI-401 and CI-801, all with the same partner Petroci Holding.