MILAN, Italy, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Italian energy company Eni said Thursday it made an oil discovery in Ecuador that could hold as much as 300 million barrels in place.
Eni announced the discovery at the Olgan-2 exploration well. Drilling encountered a 236-foot column of crude oil and initial production tests yielded a flow rate of 1,100 barrels of oil per day.
"Early estimates suggest that the Oglan discovery potentially contains about 300 million barrels of oil in place," the company said in a statement.
Ecuador has the third largest oil reserves in South America after Venezuela and Brazil. A member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, it exports an average 388,000 bpd and produces around 526,000 bpd.
Eni said the discovery was made less than 10 miles away from processing facilities already producing about 12,500 bpd.
The Italian company stressed its work in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador was conducted in what it said was a pioneering way that minimized the impact on the environment to the greatest extent possible.