Perenco in Talks to Take Majority Share of Ivory Coast Oil Well

Perenco is in talks to become the main operator in one of four oil and gas producing blocks in Ivory Coast, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The Anglo-French oil company is seeking to buy a controlling stake in block CI-11, currently operated by a consortium that includes the state-run company Petroci, which has a 68% stake.

Under the deal, Perenco will operate the asset and hold about 51% of the shares, one of the people said. Each member of the consortium will transfer shares to make up the total, he said, without detailing how much the company would pay for them.

A London-based spokesman for Perenco declined to comment and a Petroci spokesman referred Bloomberg to the energy ministry. A spokesman at the ministry declined to comment.

The investment would boost Ivory Coast’s ambition to develop its extractive industries. The world’s top cocoa grower has struggled to draw oil and gas investors due to a lack of large discoveries. Its output is dwarfed by West African neighbors such as Nigeria and even Ghana.

Block CI-11 is one of two blocks which saw an increase in gas output in the first half of the year, the government said in September. It is home to the Lion oil field and Panthere gas field. Petroci took over as the main operator in 2013 after acquiring Afren’s stake in the block and in a connected liquefied natural gas plant.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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