Eni has reported a gas and condensate discovery in the Song Hong Basin, offshore Vietnam following the drilling of an exploration well targeting the Ken Bau prospect in block 114.

The exploration well Ken Bau 1X was drilled to a depth of 95m below water level, reaching a total depth of 3,606m, when it intersected several intervals of gas and condensate sandstone interbedded with Miocene age shale, said Eni. The estimated net reservoir thickness is more than 100m.

According to the Italian energy giant, the well result implies a considerable potential of hydrocarbon accumulation.

The exploratory well was subsequently plugged and abandoned ahead of the original plan because of technical issues, before reaching deeper levels that could hold considerable additional resources, said the Italian energy company.

Eni has plans to launch a drilling campaign in early 2020 to fully assess the substantial upside of the Ken Bau gas and condensate discovery. The company, through its subsidiary Eni Vietnam is the operator of block 114 with 50% stake, and is partnered by Essar Exploration & Production (ESSAR E&P), which holds an equal stake.

Block 114 was originally awarded to Essar Energy, a subsidiary of ESSAR E&P in 2007. The company signed a production sharing contract for the offshore gas block with the Vietnamese government in 2010.

In 2012, Essar Energy divested 50% stake in block 114 to Eni.

The Italian oil and gas company said that the results of Ken Bau 1X drilling represent an important breakthrough for assessing the exploration potential in the Song Hong basin. In the same Vietnamese offshore basin, Eni’s subsidiary has 100% stake in the neighbouring block 116, which is spread over an area of nearly 5,000km2.

Activities of Eni in Vietnam

Eni has been operating in Vietnam since 2013. Currently, Eni has operations across four blocks in the country, which are all located in the underexplored Song Hong and Phu Khanh basins.

Earlier this week, the Italian company agreed to offload 13.75% stake each in three offshore Kenyan exploratory blocks to Qatar Petroleum.