Eni’s Baleine Field offshore Côte d’Ivoire has gone onstream, the operator announced on Aug. 28.

The field, pegged as the largest hydrocarbon discovery in the Ivorian sedimentary basin, was fast-tracked following its September 2021 discovery in 3,773 ft water depth in Block CI-101. Baleine, which is French for whale, was initially estimated to hold over 2 Bbbl of oil and 2.4 Tcf of associated gas, and a follow-up discovery in 2022 increased the estimate up to 2.5 Bbbl and 3.3 Tcf of associated gas.

Baleine is being developed through a phased approach. Initial production is flowing to the refurbished and upgraded Baleine FPSO. The vessel, formerly known as the Firenze FPSO, can handle 15,000 bbl/d of oil. Phase 2, which is expected to begin production by the end of 2024, will increase volumes to 50,000 bbl/d of oil. The third development phase aims to increase field production to 150,000 bbl/d of oil.

Associataed gas production will be delivered onshore through a newly constructed pipeline.

Eni said Baleine is Africa’s first Scope 1 and 2 emissions-free production project. Residual emissions are offset through initiatives within the country, including supplying and distributing improved stoves to local communities to eliminate the need for wood or coal for cooking. The stove distribution program, initiated in 2022, is expected to reach over one million people in the next six years. Simultaneously, Eni has launched studies for Nature-Based Solutions projects covering 380,000 hectares of protected forests.

Eni operates the block with 90% interest on behalf of partner Petroci Holding, which holds 10% interest.