Oil giant, ExxonMobil Corporation, yesterday announced that it had made a significant discovery of between 500 million and 1 billion barrels of oil reserves on the Owowo field offshore Nigeria.
In a statement issued Thursday, the Texas-based multinational oil and gas corp. said that the Owowo-3 well, which is 10,410 feet deep (3,173 metres), had a 460-foot column of oil-soaked rock.
ExxonMobil, which is the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, is the operator of the project (OPL 223 and OML 139) and owns 27 per cent stake.
Other joint venture partners include Chevron Nigeria Deepwater (27% interest), Total E&P Nigeria and Nexen Petroleum Deepwater Nigeria (18 percent interest), and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company Limited (10%).
“We are encouraged by the results and will work with our partners and the government on future development plans”, said Stephen M. Greenlee, President of ExxonMobil Exploration Company.
Mr. Greenlee, however, warned that the discovery and other future activities around it are subject to revisions.
“Statements of future events or conditions in this release are forward-looking statements.
“Actual future results, including project plans and schedules and resource recoveries could differ materially due to changes in market conditions affecting the oil and gas industry or long-term oil and gas price levels; political or regulatory developments; reservoir performance; the outcome of future exploration and development efforts”, he said.
The Owowo field spans portions of the contract areas of Oil Prospecting License 223 (OPL 223) and Oil Mining License 139 (OML 139).
The well was drilled by ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Deepwater Ventures) Limited and proved additional resource in deeper reservoirs.
The discovery is a significant boost to Nigeria’s efforts to increase her crude oil reserves from the current 36 billion barrels to 40 billion barrels target – set for 2010 but could not be achieved as a result of lack of investment in exploratory activities.
It also came days after ExxonMobil sold its 60 per cent stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc to Nipco Plc.