The President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara and Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi met in Abidjan today to celebrate production start-up from the Baleine field, situated off the eastern coast of Côte d’Ivoire, and to review Eni’s activities in the country.

Eni and its partner Petroci have successfully initiated production from Baleine in August this year, achieving a time-to-market of less than two years from the giant discovery. Oil production from Baleine stands at 20,000 bbl/d, far exceeding the initial anticipated 12,000 bbl/d. The project is set to reach its plateau of 50,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of 2024, upon completion of the second development phase; full field development is expected to enable the production of up to 150,000 bbl/d. Baleine’s gas production is entirely destined to the domestic market, strengthening access to energy in Côte d’Ivoire. Furthermore, the project is the first Net-Zero (Scope 1 and 2) development in Africa.

The meeting was also the occasion to discuss the initiatives that Eni is carrying out to trigger economic diversification, in addition to contributing to the Country’s energy needs. Among these, it is worth mentioning the production of vegetable oil to supply Eni’s biorefineries, an operation that recently began in Côte d’Ivoire and which leverages waste from rubber production. Based on an agreement with the Federation of Hevea Producers of Côte d’Ivoire, this initiative offers additional income for 100,000 families that have already joined the program.

The entire supply chain meets the requirements of traceability and of respect of environmental and human rights; the vegetable oil has been certified, for the first time in the world, according to the ISCC-EU sustainability scheme.

“With the start of vegetable oil production in Côte d’Ivoire we achieve a milestone fully in line with our decarbonization strategy. This project will feed our biorefineries with sustainable feedstock, while at the same time integrating Côte d’Ivoire in the value chain of biofuels, generating a positive impact on the families of local farmers with whom we collaborate through long-term agreements” said Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni.

The startup of vegetable oil production in Côte d’Ivoire follows that of Kenya in 2022. Other agri-feedstock projects are being developed in Congo, Angola, Mozambique, Rwanda, Italy, Kazakhstan, and Southeast Asia.

Eni is also strongly engaged in numerous sustainability initiatives spanning from access to education to specialized training, from access to health to forestry, in order to support Côte d’Ivoire on the path to a just transition.

Eni operates in Côte d’Ivoire since 2015. In addition to blocks CI-101 and CI-802, on which the Baleine Field extends, Eni owns interests in four other blocks in the Ivorian deepwater: CI-205, CI-504, CI-401 and CI-801, all with the same partner Petroci Holding.