* Total and partners to spend $200-$300 mln exploring 3
* Gulf of Guinea exploration picked up after Ghana's Jubilee
* 2014 to see intensified exploration in Ivory Coast, says
By Loucoumane Coulibaly
ABIDJAN, Nov 6 France's Total with
partners Anadarko and Canada's CNR will spend
up to $300 million to drill exploration wells on three offshore
blocks in Ivory Coast in 2014, the head of Total's local unit
said on Wednesday.
Oil and gas exploration in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea has
risen sharply since Ghana discovered its giant Jubilee field in
2007 and brought it to production in record time in late 2010.
Total said in April it had discovered oil on its CI-100
block in Ivory Coast's eastern waters adjacent to the maritime
boundary with Ghana.
Nicolas Payer, managing director of Total Cote d'Ivoire
, said the new exploration wells would be drilled on
its blocks near Ivory Coast's western border.
"2014 will be a phase of intensified exploration in Ivory
Coast," he told Reuters on the sidelines of a gas conference in
the commercial capital Abidjan.
"We plan three wells on blocks 514, 515 and 516 in proximity
to (the town of) Sassandra. We foresee spending between $200 and
$300 million...It will be financed by the consortium," he said.
All three concessions are ultra-deepwater blocks.
Total owns a 54 percent interest in CI-514, with Canadian
Natural Resources International at 36 percent and Ivorian state
oil company Petroci controlling the remaining 10 percent.
Total and Anadarko each control 45 percent of the other two
blocks with Petroci controlling 10 percent.