Energy in Ivory Coast
Energy in Ivory Coast is an industry with plenty of potential. In recent years, Ivory Coast has been an important supplier of energy to the sub-Saharan region as a result of its reserves of natural gas, excess electrical generating capacity, and recent offshore finds of oil and natural gas.
Oil and petroleum
Offshore oil was discovered in 1977, with production starting three years later. The bulk of the country's oil and gas wells, (86%), are situated in shallow marine areas, with another 7% located in deep offshore wells. Only 7% of the country's oil and gas wells are onshore. Estimates by the Oil & Gas Journal have placed the country's proven petroleum reserves at 100 million barrels (16,000,000 m3), as of January 1, 2005. Production for 2004 was estimated at 35,541 barrels per day (5,650.6 m3/d), with crude oil accounting for 35,000 barrels per day (5,600 m3/d). However, recent[when?] finds and new production at several off shore fields and blocks may push the nation's proven reserves and output totals higher. For example, the Espoir field, which began producing in early 2002, is estimated to contain recoverable reserves of 93 million barrels (14,800,000 m3) of oil and 180 billion cubic feet (5.1×109 m3) of gas. Also, Block CI-40, which is jointly operated by Canadian Natural Resources, Svenska Petroleum and the state oil corporation, Société Nationale d'Opérations Pétrolières de la Côte d'Ivoire (Petroci), and which lies 5 miles (8.0 km) to the south of the Espoir field, is estimated to have recoverable oil reserves of 200 million barrels (32,000,000 m3). In Block CI-112, located off Ivory Coast's western coast, is estimated by Vanco Energy Company to contain 2.7 billion barrels (430,000,000 m3) of oil in the block's San Pedro ridge and in other deposits.
Although natural gas was initially discovered in Ivory Coast in the 1980s, it has only been recently developed as of January 1, 2005, the country is estimated to have of natural gas reserves of 1 trillion cu ft. In 2003, natural gas output and domestic consumption were each estimated at 46 billion cu ft.
Ivory Coast’s oil and gas industry is managed by Petroci. Founded in 1975, Petroci was restructured in 1998 into a holding company, Petroci Holding, with three subsidiaries: Petroci Exploration-Production which handles upstream gas and oil activities; Petroci Gaz, which is responsible for the natural gas sector; and Petroci Industries-Services which manages all other related services. Petroci Holding manages the three subsidiaries as well as the country’s holdings in the gas and oil sectors.
Recent openings of the oil market by Pres Laurent Gbagbo (reported originally in North African press ) to the Russian and Chinese are suggested in these articles as the substantive reason the UN and France and the US are now very concerned about 'democracy' in Ivory Coast as it was traditionally a French fiefdom run by Francophile elites who are long associated with the opposition candidate Alassane Ouatarra who implemented the routine very strict IMF rulings on Ivorians when he was last prime minister.
Ivory Coast uses hydroelectric and thermal generating facilities to provide all of its electrical power. As of January 1, 2002, the country's generating capacity stood at an estimated 900 MW. Although hydropower accounts for around two-thirds of its generating capacity, it accounts for less than half of the power generated. In 2002, an estimated 4.8 TWh of electric power was generated, of which 38% was hydroelectric and 62% thermal. Gas powered stations alone generated more than half of the total power produced the use of natural gas fueled power stations has also made Ivory Coast into an exporter of electricity. In 2002, exports of electricity to neighboring countries totaled 1.6 TWh. Benin, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Togo are among the countries connected to Ivory Coast’s power grid. Domestic consumption of electric power in 2002 is reported to total 3.109 TWh. Compangnie Ivoirienne d’Electriciti (CIE) is the sole supplier of power, and manages, not only the government-owned generating plants, but also the transmission and distribution of power. Although official estimates place the percentage of people living in urban areas that have access to electricity at 77%, less than 15% of those living in rural areas have such access. Rural electrification has become a major priority with the government.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.