UPDATE 1-Tullow says finds oil in Ivory Coast

Thu Jun 7, 2012 2:59am EDT

LONDON, June 7 (Reuters) - UK-based oil explorer Tullow Oil said it found oil offshore the Ivory Coast, giving it confidence that it will make additional discoveries in waters to the west of its key Jubilee field in Ghana.

Tullow said on Thursday that the exploration well, which it called Paon-1X and which was on licence CI-103, found good quality light oil.

The successful result in the Ivory Coast followed disappointment in the country in April when the company drilled a dry hole.

Tullow operates the huge Jubilee oil field in Ghana and has been pushing its hunt for oil westwards in the hope of discovering more oil off the Ivory Coast.

"The discovery of light oil in our first well in CI-103 extends the proven play for oil westwards from our successes in Ghana and is encouraging for our future exploration efforts elsewhere in this licence," said Tullow's Exploration Director Angus McCoss.

Tullow owns a 45 percent stake in the CI-103 licence and is partnered with U.S. explorer Anadarko Petroleum.

"The discovery is the first meaningful deepwater Ivory Coast success and de-risks several nearby lookalike prospects, high potential 2013 drilling candidates," Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note.

Shares in Tullow closed at 1,438 pence on Wednesday.

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