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Ivory Coast Plans $1B Investment In Oil Infrastructure

Ivory Coast offshore rig

Ivory Coast’s energy ministry has announced plans to invest around US$1 billion to build oil pipelines and storage facilities.

The investment will be made through two newly-created companies owned by a dozen of investors, including France’s Total SA (NYSE:TOT) and industrial group Bollore, the ministry said on Tuesday.

Just before that announcement, Ivory Coast had signed a deal with a consortium led by Total to build an LNG terminal that could start importing gas by the middle of 2018. Total is operator of the project, whose partners are Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A), Houston-based Endeavor Energy, Ivory Coast’s companies Petroci and CI-Energies, Azerbaijan’s SOCAR and London-based Golar LNG.

Ivory Coast, which emerged from a civil war that ended in 2011, has become a fast-growing African economy, and its electricity needs are growing accordingly, by 10 percent a year, Reuters quoted the energy ministry as saying.

Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama lifted 10-year-long economic sanctions against the West African country, which may further boost the Ivory Coast economy. The U.S. had imposed the sanctions under President George W. Bush in February 2006.

Obama’s executive order for lifting the sanctions cited the country’s “extraordinary progress since the end of its civil war in 2011, in particular its successful October 2015 presidential election and improvements managing the flow of arms and combating illicit trafficking of natural resources”.

In July of this year, Ibrahima Diaby, the managing director of state oil and gas company Petroci, said that the Ivory Coast wanted to double its oil and gas production to 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent in 2020. The country wants to develop offshore reserves in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, Diaby said.

In May of this year, Anadarko (NYSE:APC) struck oil in the country after having successfully drilled its first horizontal deep-water well.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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