Cote d’Ivoire’s economy is heavily reliant on agriculture. The country’s primarily exports include cocoa, coffee and timber. Together, the revenues from these exports make up approximately 40% of Cote d’Ivoire’s gross domestic product (GDP), and approximately 70% of the total export earnings.
The West African state of Ivory Coast is known more as an oil refining country rather than as an oil producing one. While it does not have the prolific offshore oil fields of Nigeria, it does possess a modest upstream oil industry.
Its recoverable oil reserves have been estimated at 100 million barrels and recoverable gas reserves at 1.1 Tcf. Oil producing fields are Lion and Panthere (condensates).
The national oil company, Petroci, was established in 1975. Petroci was restructured in 1998 and four new entities were created: Petroci Holding, a fully state-owned company that is responsible for the state’s portfolio management in the oil sector and the three subsidiaries; Petroci Exploration-Production, responsible for upstream hydrocarbon activities; Petroci-Gaz, responsible for development of the gas sector; and Petroci Industries-Services, responsible for all other related services. Up to 49% interest in the three subsidiaries is available to private sector investors. Petroci’s role currently includes the development and maintainance of the main database on Cote d’Ivoire’s oil assets, and the assumption of minority participation – generally between 5% and 15% – in the offshore ventures operated by international companies.
The gas reserves discovered in the 1980’s have begun to be developed and utilised. The main producing fields are Panthere, Kudu, Eland, Ibex, Gazelle and Foxtrot. The Ivory Coast is poised to become a regional gas exporter.
The downstream sector is an important part of the economy. Côte d’Ivoire has a complex refinery at Abidjan with an adjacent bitumen plant. The state’s interest in both plants has been scheduled for privatisation. The refinery receives crude via pipeline from the Lion and Panthere fields. It also receives crude from Nigeria. A major pipeline project from Côte d’Ivoire to Cameroon is being planned.
The Ivory Coast is self sufficient in producing refined petroleum products and is also a major supplier to the West African region. Six major oil companies are involved in marketing products in Côte d’Ivoire as well as the local PetroIvoire.
The Foxtrot offshore gas field was discovered along with the Panthere gas and condensate field in 1993 and the Lion oilfield in 1994, both of which came on stream in the mid 1990’s. The product is intended for use in local power generation with excess being sold to Ghana. Addax reworked the aging Espoir oil field in 1996, and a consortium led by Ranger Oil intend to develop the abandoned field at a cost of $250 million with initial production being estimated at 20,000 to 25,000 bpd.