(Bloomberg) -- Eni SpA is planning to sell a stake in its Ivory Coast exploration operations in a potential deal that could be worth about €1 billion ($1.1 billion), according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

The Italian oil company is working with advisers including Standard Chartered Plc on the possible stake sale, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Eni could sell up to 30% of the business and is drawing interest from other energy companies, including from Asia, the people said. 

Eni shares gained as much as 1.5% in Wednesday trading. They were up 0.9% at 12:48 p.m. in Milan, giving the company a market value of about €45.7 billion. 

Deliberations are at an early stage and Eni is still evaluating the size of the stake that may be sold, according to the people. Representatives for Eni and Standard Chartered declined to comment.

The stake sale would dovetail with Eni’s broader four-year strategy, which aims to raise about €8 billion from asset disposals. Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi is pursuing a so-called satellite model — splitting off divisions and partnering with external investors, with the goal of eventually listing them. Eni did that with renewable unit Plenitude and is planning the same for biorefining and mobility arm Enilive.

Eni’s presence in Ivory Coast dates back to the 1960s and it reentered the country in 2015. Its operations include Baleine, an offshore oil and gas field that is the largest hydrocarbon discovery ever made in the African nation. Eni started production at Baleine in August, less than two years after discovering the field, which has raised Ivory Coast’s status as a regional energy hub. 

The initial production phase for Baleine will output 15,000 barrels of oil per day and about 25 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, the government said in August last year. Baleine is estimated to have 2.5 billion barrels of oil in place, according to Eni’s website. 

(Updates with further details of operations in last two paragraphs.)

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