Volume of the discovery at the two wells so far drilled is estimated to be around 600 million barrels of oil and 700 billion cubic feet of gas in place.

Eni said the structure has considerable additional upside that will be assessed with further delineation wells.

The discovery well Nene’ Marine 1 was drilled in 24m of water to a depth of 3,013m encountering a wet gas and light oil accumulation in the pre-saline clastic sequence of Lower Cretaceous age.

Nene’ Marine 2 was drilled 2km away from the discovery well and confirmed significant hydrocarbon accumulation and the continuity of the reservoir.

Both the wells flowed at commercial rates of oil at 37° API gravity during production tests.

The company will continue to assess the discovery, while starting the studies for the commercial exploitation of this accumulation with joint venture partners.

Eni Congo operates the Marine XII block with a 65% interest, while other partners New Age and state-owned Societé Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (SNPC) own 25% and 10% interests, respectively.

The company currently has an equity production of 110,000 barrels of oil per day in Congo.

Eni’s current operated production in the region is about 450,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.