On the East side of Africa, the Ivory Coast is making a big mark on engineering with the extensive oil and gas resources that lie just off its coast.
While plans to begin the extraction of these oil and gas reserves were laid out in 2011, they have only just gained approval with work expected to begin later this year, or early 2016.
The oil and gas field has been named the ‘Gazelle’ and studies show that the area should hold around 92 cubic feet of gas and more than 1.8 billion barrels of oil, so the sooner these resources can be extracted, the better.
Interest in the Ivory Coast has been plenty, with Vioco Petroleum taking ownership of the site, which is located just 30km south of Abidjan. A significant amount of money has been invested into the project, with development expected to cost more than $200million. Understanding the potential of these resources, the International Finance Corporation have given more than $20million to ensuring this extraction runs successfully.
Once the production platform has been constructed offshore and the initial well has been created, the plan is to install a 14inch and 8inch liquid pipeline respectively to connect these oil and gas resources to the shore.
This is a large project and work on this scale will require people from all areas of oil and gas: geophysicists, contract managers and reservoir engineers will find themselves in high demand and on the pivotal first stages of this large refinery project.
Economic growth in Africa has been phenomenal over the past few years at around 9%, which has increased the demand for energy, putting pressure on existing transmission and distribution networks across the Ivory Coast.
Plans have been made to increase the country’s energy production capacity to 4000MW before 2020, more than doubling the existing 1800MWcapacity. To achieve this target, the government have invested in hydro-electric power and gas-fired power too.
By 2017, construction should have finished on the Soubre plant which is set to produce 270MW of power when it’s completed. More than $400m has been invested into this project that should take the pressure off costly thermal power production which is no longer sufficient for the Ivory Coast.
The Ivory Coast is well-known for its cocoa resources as the largest exporter of these beans in the world. The country will only increase this production as the price of cocoa rises dramatically over the upcoming years.
The country is home to a large amount of Manganese deposits and while production is already happening, there are plans to make this a much larger operation to make the most of these resources.
There is no doubt that the Ivory Coast is a country with potential for engineers of almost every discipline. The changes and projects happening in the country should challenge, excite and entice any good engineer to make the most of this golden coast.