Canadian Natural Discovers Oil Off Cote d'Ivoire


Independent energy explorer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ) announced the discovery of light oil off the coast of Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast). The discovery was made through well Saphir-1XB in Block CI-514 of the deepwater frontier exploration play.

Canadian Natural stated that the well, at water depth of 2,300 meters, was drilled by a semi-submersible rig to reach 4,655 meters. The oil discovered was of 34°API.

The company announced that post discovery, the collected data would be evaluated to determine the potential of the find and to proceed to the appraisal phase.

Total S.A. (TOT) operates block CI-514 with a majority stake (54%). Canadian Natural subsidiary CNR International holds a 36% interest whereas the remaining is held by Société Nationale d'Opérations Pétrolières de la Côte d'Ivoire (:PETROCI).

The Canadian Natural affiliate is the major hydrocarbon producer in Cote d'Ivoire with assets in the Espoir Field and Baobab Field. The company intends to start a 10-well drilling program in the Espoir Field in the latter half of the year and a 6-well development program at the deepwater Baobab Field towards the end of 2014 or early next year.

Canadian Natural is engaged in the acquisition, development and exploitation of crude oil and natural gas properties. It is one of the largest independent exploration and production (E&P) companies in Canada, with extensive heavy crude oil and natural gas developments. The company has a broad portfolio of low-risk exploration and development projects that yield long-term volume growth at above-average rates.

Canadian Natural currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). This implies that it is expected to outperform the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

One can also consider other players from the Canadian E&P industry like Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE) and Crescent Point Energy Corp. (CPG). Both these stocks also carry a Zacks Rank #2.

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