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European exploration and production company Tullow Oil plc (TUWOY - Free Report) recently declared that it has bought a 90% stake in Ivory Coast's four onshore blocks. These are located on the coastline to the west of Abidjan. The rest 10% of the onshore blocks are held by Petroci, the national oil company of the country.

The acquisition is in line with the company's strategy of focusing on value-enhancing growth. Tullow bought stakes in CI 518, CI519, CI301 and CI302 blocks spreading over 5,035 square kilometers. The company has plans to start work in the blocks shortly so that a full tensor gradiometry (FTG) survey process can begin by early 2018. The result from the survey will help the company to determine the potential of the acquired blocks. In addition, Tullow expects the cost of production from the blocks to be low and will enrich the company's existing exploration portfolio.

The company has a 20-year presence in the country. We would like to remind investors that the company currently has non-operating stakes in Ivory Coast's offshore Espoir field, where Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ - Free Report) is the major shareholder and operator. Tullow receives net production of 4,000 barrels of oil per day from Espoir.

About Tullow

Anglo-Irish exploration firm Tullow operates as an independent oil and gas exploration and production company. Tullow has a large portfolio of exploration and production assets with a focus on balanced long-term growth. The company is headquartered in London, the United Kingdom.

Price Performance

Tullow has lost 36% of its value year to date, underperforming the 8.5% fall of its industry.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Tullow currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the oil and energy sector are Enbridge Energy, L.P. (EEP - Free Report) and Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. (PARR - Free Report) , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Enbridge Energy’s earnings for 2017 are expected to surge 24.2% year over year. The partnership delivered a positive earnings surprise of 7.7% in the second quarter of 2017.

Par Pacific’s sales for the third quarter of 2017 are expected to increase 28.5% year over year. The company delivered a positive average earnings surprise of 9.1% in the last four quarters.

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