No Hard Feelings for Tullow in Cote d'Ivoire
After losing an arbitration ruling last month, Cote d’Ivoire has shown there are no hard feelings towards Tullow Oil, a key indirect beneficiary of that ruling, by awarding four onshore blocks to the UK-based independent firm.
Tullow said on October 12 that it has acquired 90% stakes in four onshore blocks in Cote d'Ivoire; Petroci, the national oil company, holds the remaining 10%. The four blocks – CI 518, CI519, CI301 and CI302 – cover 5,035 km2 and are located on the coastline mainly to the west of the capital Abidjan.
The company said it believes that this acreage will complement its existing offshore exploration portfolio, stating that: “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 Cote d'Ivoire's oil industry suggests a relatively short and low-cost path to production.”
Tullow said it intends to initiate work immediately on these licences to allow a full tensor gradiometry (FTG) survey to start in early 2018. The company has worked in Cote d'Ivoire for 20 years and also holds a position in the Canadian Natural Resources-operated Espoir field, which produces 4,000 b/d net to Tullow.
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, delivering its final ruling September 23 2017 in Hamburg, upheld Ghana’s interpretation of the maritime boundary over that of adjacent Cote d’Ivoire, ending a dispute lasting over two-years between the two west African neighbours.
The ruling enables Tullow to resume exploratory drilling later this year on the western fringe of its TEN licence offshore Ghana. Tullow operates both the TEN and Jubilee oil and gas field complexes offshore Ghana.