Italian energy firm Eni has secured a three-year extension for the exploration of its 15/06 offshore block in Angola.

More than 3 billion barrels of oil and 850 million barrels of reserves have been discovered by the company in the block, which it acquired in 2006.

An extension has been requested by Eni following the completion of original exploration period in November 2014 in order to complete the exploration activities already identified.

The three-year plan comprises the drilling of three wells and 1,000km² of 3D seismic.

Plans also involve an area adjacent to the block that covers the discovery of Reco-Reco, which is expected to have about 100 million barrels of oil in place.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said: "The extension of the exploration period of Block 15/06, which includes the Reco-Reco discovery, recognizes Eni’s ability to successfully fulfil the role of operator, one which requires both technological innovation and a high level of operational efficiency."

Eni operates Block 15/06 with a 35% interest and Sonangol EP is the concessionaire while Sonangol Pesquisa e Produção, SSI Fifteen and Falcon Oil Holding Angola own 35%, 25% and 5% stakes, respectively, in the block.