MILAN, Italy, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Italian energy company Eni said drilling operations off the coast of the west African nation of Ghana confirmed commercial potential.
Eni said it drilled in its Sankofa East 2A block, its first appraisal well in the Sankofa East discovery area, located about 120 miles offshore Ghana.
"Eni estimates the overall potential of the discovery to be around 450 million barrels of oil in place with recoverable resources of up to 150 million barrels," the company stated.
The company explained those results are important because it confirms the discovery is of commercial nature, adding it has started to make plans for commercial exploitation of those reserves.
Eni is working in the region alongside Ghana National Petroleum Corp., the government there and Vitol.
Eni announced a similar effort in the Sankofa East region last year encountered 250 feet of gross oil pay.
Ghana is emerging as a regional energy powerhouse. The country shipped its first delivery of oil from the giant offshore Jubilee field in January 2012.
Parliamentary and presidential elections in December in Ghana were considered free and fair, securing a victory for incumbent President John Mahama.