Exxon Mobil, a US-based oil corporation, said on Thursday that it had discovered up to one billion barrels of oil in its 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 drilled on September 23, encountered about 460 feet (140 metres) of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir.
Owowo-3 extended the resource discovered by the Owowo-2 well, which encountered about 515 feet (157 metres) of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir, ExxonMobil said in a statement on its website.
According to The Punch Newspaper, 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.”
ExxonMobil holds 27 per cent interest and is the operator of the OPL 223 and OML 139. Joint venture partners include Chevron Nigeria Deepwater Limited (27 per cent 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 per cent interest).
Punch also reports that ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and Gas Company, had last week announced the sale of its 60 per cent stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc to Nipco Plc, signalling its exit from Nigeria’s downstream oil and gas sub-sector.
Nigeria’s oil production has risen to 1.9 million barrels per day after plummeting to near 30-year lows of around 1.5 million to 1.6 million bpd in August, as a result of the upsurge in militant attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta.
“We have built capacity of up to 2.4 million bpd, but [we are] currently producing about 1.9 million bpd,” the Special Adviser on International Energy Relations to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Omar Farouk, said on the Twitter handle of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources on Tuesday.