UPDATE 1-Total strikes oil for second time offshore Ivory Coast

Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:07am EDT
 
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* Discovery in western waters comes after oil first struck in east

* Total to drill another two wells in the area in 2014/15

* Ivory Coast seeks to boost energy sector (Adds background, shares)

By Michel Rose and Joe Bavier

PARIS/ABIDJAN, April 17 (Reuters) - France's Total said on Thursday it had discovered oil in a deep offshore area in the west of Ivory Coast, the company's second oil find in a year in the West African country.

"This well is the first discovery in the San Pedro Basin, a frontier exploration area in Ivory Coast," Total senior vice president for exploration Marc Blaizot said in a statement.

"Having confirmed the presence of a petroleum system containing light oil, we will next evaluate this very promising find and focus on its extension to the north and east."

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.

Ivory Coast, French-speaking West Africa's largest economy, is seeking to accelerate development of its energy sector, neglected during a decade-long political crisis that ended in a brief civil war in 2011.   Continued...