Total announced that its Nigerian subsidiary made the discovery about 40 miles off the southeastern coast of Nigeria. A well was drilled in about 260 feet of water. One of the reservoirs there, Total said in a statement, tested at 8,500 bpd of light crude oil.
Marc Blaizot, senior vice president for exploration at Total, said his company would focus on boosting exploration near production hubs and look toward "riskier prospects" in the region.
"With the exploration being undertaken in Nigeria, Total intends to strengthen its growth strategy," he added.
Total produced, on average, around 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from Nigeria in 2010.
Conflict tied to Nigeria's oil sector has complicated development there. Amnesty offered to Nigerian militants in the Niger Delta in 2009 brought some relief for the oil sector though theft has cost the country around 200,000 barrels of oil per day.