Ivory Coast is looking to licence 13 more vacant offshore blocks, kicking off with three newly demarcated licence areas and two existing blocks.

The five tracts comprise existing blocks CI 102 and CI 503 in the shallows off the commercial capital Abidjan as well as three new blocks CI 800, CI 801 and CI 802, which nestle on the 200 metre isobath against the Ghana maritime border.

All have existing infrastructure accessible in the vicinity with nearby producing fields.

Details on the blocks can accessed from state-owned Petroci, which released technical details for all five areas this week at the Africa Oil Conference in Cape Town.

The blocks were selected because they all are in relatively shallow water, said Ambroise Niamien, special advisor on petroleum to Minister Abdourahmane Cisse, who announced the mini-round.

Ivory Coast has demarcated 51 blocks of which 32 are under licence with some 10 operators, while Block CI 103 remains under negotiation, leaving some 18 blocks unlicensed across the basin.

Two free days of data archive consultation are offered to interested suitors, according to a senior official with the directorate of hydrocarbons.

The total exploration phase under the latest regime extension is between seven and nine years after signature bonus has been paid, while model contracts require provision for cost oil/gas and profit oil/gas split.

Suitors must first secure an Expression of Interest (EoI) and have approval from the Council of Ministers before negotiating a production sharing contract.

Ivory Coast aims to become a regional energy hub, despite similar ambitions in neighbouring Ghana, and posted an 8% economic growth rate between 2009 and 2013.

Ivory Coast currently produces 38,000 barrels per day of oil from four blocks and also 213 million cubic feet per day of gas, which accounts for 90% of the country's power generation.