Russia's Lukoil moves on Ivory Coast

June 12, 2013 at 7:21 AM

MOSCOW, June 12 (UPI) -- Russian oil company Lukoil said it planned to conduct seismic surveys offshore Ivory Coast after buying a stake in regional assets from a Nigerian rival.

Lukoil, the largest privately held oil company in Russia, said it acquired a 65 percent stake in an offshore oil block in Ivory Coast from Nigeria's Taleveras Energy.

The block, CI-504, is near fields already in production in the waters of the Gulf of Guinea.

The company said the first exploration phase would include seismic surveys of the region by January. Exploration wells are planned within five years, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

French energy company Total in April said it confirmed Ivorian offshore reserves were connected in part to the Jubilee field offshore Ghana. The Jubilee field is one of the richest oil fields in Africa with potential reserves eclipsing 1.8 billion barrels.

Tullow Oil, active in Ghana, discovered an oil column measuring about 100 feet while drilling in similar concessions offshore Ivory Coast last year.

Taleveras retains a 25 percent stake in the Ivorian block. Financial terms of the transaction weren't stated.

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