United States-based Exxon Mobil Corporation on Thursday said it had discovered up to one billion barrels of oil on the Owowo field offshore Nigeria.
The oil major said it was “a significant discovery with a potential recoverable resource of between 500 million and one billion barrels”.
It said the Owowo-3 well, which was spud on September 23, encountered about 460 feet (140 meters) of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir.
Owowo-3 extends the resource discovered by the Owowo-2 well, which encountered about 515 feet (157 meters) of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir, ExxonMobil said in a statement on its website.
The President, ExxonMobil Exploration Company, Stephen Greenlee, said, “We are encouraged by the results and will work with our partners and the government on future development plans.”
The company said Owowo-3 was safely drilled to 10,410 feet (3,173 meters) in 1,890 feet (576 meters) of water.
The Owowo field spans portions of the contract areas of Oil Prospecting License 223 and Oil Mining License 139. The well was drilled by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Deepwater Ventures) Limited and proved an additional resource in deeper reservoirs.
ExxonMobil holds 27 percent interest and is the operator for OPL 223 and OML 139. Joint venture partners include Chevron Nigeria Deepwater G-Limited (27 percent interest), Total E&P Nigeria Limited (18 per cent interest), Nexen Petroleum Deepwater Nigeria Limited (18 per cent interest), and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company Limited (10 percent interest).
ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, had last week announced the sale of its 60 percent stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc to Nipco Plc, signalling its exit from the Nigeria’s downstream oil and gas sub-sector.