Ivory Coast starts construction on second refinery

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16 -- Ivory Coast has started construction on its second oil refinery, a 60,000 b/d facility on a 400-hectare site in the Vridi district of Abidjan.

The facility is being funded by US energy firms Energy Allied International and WCW International, together with Ivory Coast's state-owned Petroci.

"The implementation of this new refinery is a much anticipated next step in our vision to make Abidjan and [Ivory Coast] a major center for refining and redistribution of high-end petroleum products along the West African Atlantic Basin," said Petroci general manager Kassoum Fadika.

Fadika said Angolan, Nigerian, and possibly Congolese crude will be treated in the refinery, which will target US markets.

State-owned refining firm Societe Ivoirienne de Raffinage manages Ivory Coast's other refinery, which is in the same industrial area of Vridi, and it can process 70,000 b/d.

The SIR facility is 47.21% owned by the Ivorian government, while Burkina Faso owns another 5.39%. Four international oil companies—Total SA 25.3%, Royal Dutch Shell PLC 10.3%, ExxonMobil Corp. 8.1%, and Chevron Corp. 3.7%—own the remainder.

Earlier this month, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Calgary, said it secured a deepwater drilling rig for mobilization in the first quarter of 2008 at Baobab oil field off Ivory Coast (OGJ Online, Nov. 2, 2007).

Last September, Prosafe ASA said it received a contract to upgrade the floating production, storage, and offloading Espoir Ivoirien in Espoir field in Ivory Coast. No financial details were disclosed.

The contract, awarded by CNR International (Cote d'Ivoire) SARL (CNR), involved the addition of new separation and gas compression modules, and associated system modifications.

The upgrade will increase the unit's liquid handling capacity from to 70,000 boe/d from 50,000 boe/d, Prosafe said.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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