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    Qatar's QP Makes Foray into Cote d'Ivoire


QP is farming in at two licences operated by its close partner Total.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Qatar's QP Makes Foray into Cote d'Ivoire

Qatar Petroleum (QP) is set to enter Cote d'Ivoire, announcing on May 18 it had signed an agreement with France's Total to farm into two exploration blocks off the west African country's coast.

QP will take 45% interests in blocks CI-705 and CI-706, spanning 3,200 km2 of the offshore Ivorian-Tano basin, the Qatari firm said. They "present multi-target hydrocarbon prospects," in waters 1,000-2,000 metres deep, some 35 km from land and 100 km from the Foxtrot, Espoir and Baobab gas fields.

"The acquisition of working interests in these two blocks marks an important addition to QP’s upstream portfolio in Africa, and represents the first investment for QP in Cote d'Ivoire," QP CEO and Qatari energy minister Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said in a statement. "Africa’s offshore is a key target area for QP’s international growth strategy."

The farm-in deal will need approval by the Cote d'Ivoire government. QP did not say how much the transaction was worth, nor when it expected to close it. Total was awarded initial three-year licences for the blocks in June 2019, acquiring 90% stakes. Investments in the exploration phase are expected to reach $90mn.

Total also has a 90% interest in the nearby C1-605 block, in waters 3,000-4,000 metres deep.

QP also agreed earlier this month to take 30% positions from Total at three blocks off Mexico. It is also partnered with the French major off the coast of Congo Brazzaville and South Africa.