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Image courtesy of Eni/Flickr.

Italy’s Eni said Wednesday it made a new gas and condensates discovery in offshore Congo at the Nkala Marine exploration prospect.

The find, made through the Nkala Marine 1 well, is expected to have a potential 250 to 350 million barrels of oil equivalent in place.

During production testing, the well provided over 300,000 standard cubic meters per day of gas and associated condensates.

Nkala Marine 1 encountered a major gas and condensates buildup in the pre-salt clastic geological sequence of lower Cretaceous age, crossing a hydrocarbon column of 787 feet.

The well was drilled in a water depth 124 feet in the Marine XII block, about 12 miles from the coast and about two miles from the Nene Marine field that is already in production.

Eni said it will be starting the evaluation of Nkala Marine through new delineation wells.

As Eni moves forward with its evaluation plans the company and its partners will also commence studies for the find’s commercial development.

“The exploration of the pre-salt sequences continues to deliver new discoveries all along the West Africa’s margin and confirms Eni’s exploration technologies effectiveness, given the technical complexity of these plays,” Eni said.

Eni estimates oil and gas discoveries made in the pre-salt Marine XII block have in place resources of about 5.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Production at the block began last December and currently stands at around 15,000 boe per day.

Eni, through its subsidiary Eni Congo, is the operator of Marine XII block with a 65 percent stake.

UK-based New Age holds a 25 percent stake and the Congolese state company Societé Nationale des Pétroles du Congo with 10 percent stake.

Eni has been present in Congo since 1968 and its current production in the country is about 110,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.