Eni has spudded its critical first appraisal well on its huge Baleine discovery offshore the Ivory Coast, which is set to be developed in phases at a total cost of some $11 billion.

In mid-2021, the Italian major said it had found between 1.5 billion and 2 billion barrels of oil and between 1.8 trillion and 2.4 trillion cubic feet of gas with its deep-water Baleine-1X well in Block CI-101.