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Discovery of Huge Oil Reserves Transforms Economy of 'King of Cocoa' – Executive Summary

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Ivory Coast, traditionally known for its cocoa and coffee production, is emerging as a new investment hub for major international oil companies. In recent years, the country has been blessed with major oil and gas discoveries in its deep waters, especially in West Africa.

Recently, Eni started producing oil at the Balin field, marking an important milestone for the country’s oil sector. Production is expected to increase significantly as the project’s subsequent phases develop, as detailed by the International Energy Agency in its reports.

In addition to the Baline project, Côte d’Ivoire received other good news with the discovery of the Callao field, which could contain between 1,000 and 1,500 million barrels of oil equivalent. This discovery, made by Eni in the deepwater CI-205 block, represents one of the greatest reservoir potentials ever discovered in the country.

President Alassane Ouattara has unveiled ambitious plans to increase the country’s oil production to 200,000 barrels per day by 2027, a significant increase from the current 60,000 barrels per day. To achieve this goal, $15 billion (€14 billion) is expected to be invested in the oil and gas sector, with the aim of turning Côte d’Ivoire into a regional hydrocarbons hub.

Despite the economic opportunities that oil brings, questions arise about how to distribute the benefits among the population, especially in a country where per capita income is modest and faces significant social and economic challenges.

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