Barely a week after it sold its downstream subsidiary in Nigeria, United States’ oil giant, ExxonMobil Corporation, has announced the discovery of up to one billion barrels of oil reserves in the Owowo field, offshore Nigeria.
The development is a boost to Nigeria’s efforts to increase her crude oil reserves from the current 36 billion barrels to 40 billion barrels target, which was set for 2010 but could not be achieved as a result of lack of investment in exploratory activities.
The Owowo field spans portions of the contract areas of Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 223 and Oil Mining License (OML) 139.
In a statement posted yesterday on its website, the Texas-based oil and gas company said the huge discovery has a potential recoverable resource of between 500 million and one billion barrels of oil.
The world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company stated that the Owowo-3 well, which was spud on September 23, 2016, encountered about 460 feet (140 metres) of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir.
According to the statement, the Owowo-3 extends the resource discovered by the Owowo-2 well, which encountered about 515 feet (157 meters) of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir.
Commenting on the discovery, the President of 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 further added that the Owowo-3 was safely drilled to 10,410 feet (3,173 metres) in 1,890 feet (576 metres) of water.
The well was drilled by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Deepwater Ventures) Limited and proved additional resource in deeper reservoirs.
ExxonMobil holds 27 per cent interest and is the operator for OPL 223 and OML 139.
Joint venture partners include Chevron Nigeria Deepwater G 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 (NPDC) Limited, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) (10 per cent interest).
ExxonMobil had recently announced the sale of its 60 per cent stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc to NIPCO Plc, thus exiting from the Nigeria’s downstream oil and gas sub-sector.
Before the sale of its downstream subsidiary, the company had three affiliates operating in Nigeria: Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN); Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd. (EEPNL); and Mobil Oil Nigeria (MON).