Ivory Coast to benefit from oil flows

Feb 11, 2002 01:00 AM

The development of oil fields off the Ivory Coast could reduce the country's reliance on cocoa revenues. Explorer Tullow Oil says that initial flows indicated potentially large reserves. The company's contract is such that it is confident that it can make money even if the oil price falls as low as $ 12 or $ 13 a barrel.
The government is also set to benefit from the oil flows, given that it has a 10 % stake in the licence to the state oil company and a stake in Tullow Oil's returns. The oil exploration group has plans for three more production wells in the Espoir field this year.

Tullow Oil began prospecting off the Ivory Coast for four years in partnership with Canadian Natural Resources. It recorded flows of 8,500 bpd from the Espoir Field. It believes these flows could rise to 30,000 bpd within a year.
Tullow finance director, Tom Hickey, told that while initial tests showed reserves of 50-60 mm barrels, but he now believes that the reserves could be double that. The development of these offshore fields could also boost regional industrial development.

The government in neighbouring Nigeria has faced criticism for not sharing the oil revenues. "A core principal of developing projects of this nature is that there has to be a benefit for all participants and we hope the Ivorians are happy with what they have seen to date from this," Mr Hickey said.

Source: Energy24
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