Cote d'Ivoire says it has identified a major offshore oil and natural gas reservoir, after a deepwater exploration by the Italian oil company Eni.
The find will "greatly increase Cote d'Ivoire's proven reserves as well as its oil and gas production in the coming years," said energy minister Thomas Camara.
Eni, which drilled a 3,445-metre-deep well about 60 kilometres off the coast, said will carry out a further evaluation of the wider potential of the find.
Camara said the reservoir could hold 1.5 to 2 billion barrels of oil and around 51 million cubic metres of gas.
To date, Cote d'Ivoire has 51 identified oilfields, most of them offshore near the border with Ghana. Four are in production, 26 in exploration, and 21 are still open.
The country increased its oil production in 2019 by 12 percent, to reach 36,000 barrels a day.
It signed contracts in 2019 with Eni and the French oil giant Total to explore the possibility of increasing its oil production.
Total, Eni and other international oil companies, notably British firm Tullow Oil, announced significant discoveries of Ivorian offshore oil reserves in recent years.