December 20, 2017 / 5:50 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-BP and Kosmos partner on five Ivory Coast offshore oil blocks

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YAMOUSSOUKRO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast has awarded partners BP and Kosmos Energy five new offshore oil blocks under an agreement with state oil company Petroci, government spokesman Bruno Kone said on Wednesday.

Petroci will maintain a 10 percent stake in blocks CI-526, CI-602, CI-603, CI-707 and CI-708. Kone did not give a breakdown of Kosmos' and BP's stakes.

Elsewhere in West Africa, BP and New York-listed Kosmos are partners on oil and gas blocks off the coast of Senegal and Mauritania. Natural gas discoveries there contain sufficient reserves to warrant two LNG projects, they said.

Ivory Coast, located in the centre of Africa's oil and gas-rich Gulf of Guinea, has granted a number of licences following a roadshow in October in Cape Town, South Africa.

Africa-focused Tullow Oil has picked up six blocks in recent weeks. SECI, a local unit of French industrial group Bouygues, has signed contracts for two blocks.

In September, an international tribunal ruled in favour of Ghana in a dispute with Ivory Coast over the two countries' maritime boundary that had slowed exploration. (Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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