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Image courtesy of Eni.

Eni completed production testing on the Minsala Marine 1 well in offshore Congo Monday, with results exceeding initial expectations.

The well delivered over 5,000 barrels of oil per day and 14 million standard cubic feet of gas per day in natural flow from an opened 37 meter section of the 420 meter oil column identified in the discovery.

The oil quality is 41 degrees API.

Minsala Marine 1 is located in the Marine XII block in offshore Congo, about 22 miles from the shoreline and 7.5 miles from Eni’s Nené Marine discovery.

Preliminary estimates place Minsala’s reserves at about 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place, with oil accounting for 80 percent of reserves.

The company has scheduled an appraisal plan for the discovery and has begun studying the commercial development of its “significant” hydrocarbons reserves.

“The production test results has exceeded expectations and enables us to plan a fast commercial development of the important Minsala Marine find, similarly to what had been done at Nene’ Marine” Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said.

Minsala is one of three discoveries Eni has made in the Marine XII permit that also includes the Litchjendily Marine and Nené Marine discoveries.

The company has discovered nearly 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place in the waters between Congo and Gabon.

Italy’s Eni operates Marine XII with a 65 percent share through its own subsidiary Eni Congo SA.

UK-based New Age holds a 25 percent stake and Congo’s SNPC holds a 10 percent stake.