Italian major Eni is moving fast to commercialise its huge Baleine oil and gas discovery offshore Ivory Coast and plans to invest $11 billion in the project’s second phase, which is set set to come on stream in 2026.

Baleine, which was discovered in late August on Block CI-101, holds up to 2 billion barrels of oil and as much as 2.4 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to the operator, making it the country's biggest ever discovery.

The deep-water find close to the maritime border with Ghana was announced on 1 September, with Eni reporting that the Baleine-1x probe hit 40 degrees API light oil in two different zones, opening up a new geological play and marking the country's first discovery in two decades.