ExxonMobil has made a oil discovery with a potential recoverable resource of up to 1 billion barrels of oil on the Owowo field offshore Nigeria.

The field spans portions of the contract areas of oil prospecting license 223 (OPL 223) and oil mining license 139 (OML 139) offshore Nigeria.

The oil discovery was made at Owowo-3 well, which encountered about 460 feet (140 meters) of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir.

The well was drilled to 10,410ft in 1,890ft of water by ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Deepwater Ventures) and proved additional resource in deeper reservoirs.

Additionally, the well extends the resource discovered by the Owowo-2 well, which earlier encountered about 515ft of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir.

With these discoveries, the company estimates the Owowo field to potentially hold recoverable resource of between 500 MMbbl and 1 billion bbl.

ExxonMobil Exploration president Stephen Greenlee said: “We are encouraged by the results and will work with our partners and the government on future development plans.”

ExxonMobil operates OPL 223 and OML 139 with 27% stake while other joint venture partners include Chevron Nigeria Deepwater G with 27% interest, Total E&P Nigeria 18%, Nexen Petroleum Deepwater Nigeria 18%, and the Nigeria Petroleum Development 10%.

The company plans to undertake future developments at the field upon completion of discussions with partners and the government

In 2015, Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (EEPNL), a unit of Exxon Mobil, started oil production at the Erha North Phase 2 project offshore Nigeria.