Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Italian state oil company Eni said Monday it has discovered between 170 million to 200 million barrels of light crude oil in a field offshore Angola named Afoxe, which will be jointly developed along with its previous Kalimba finding.
"Eni is committed to developing this discovery," Eni's CEO Claudio Descalzi said. The company will also intensify exploration after this finding, he added. The grade is 37 API.
"The well has not been tested but an intensive data collection has been carried out that indicates a production capacity in excess of 5,000 barrels of oil per day," a company statement said
The Afoxe finding is located 75 miles off the Angola coast, about 31 miles from its Olombendo floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility, and just 12 miles from its Kalimba discovery announced in June.
"The well was drilled in a water depth of 2,560 feet and reached a total depth of 5,650 feet," Eni said.
"The new nearby discoveries of Kalimba and Afoxe are now accounting together a potential of 400-500 million barrels of oil equivalent of high quality oil in place and represent a new cluster that can be exploited jointly," Eni said.
The area, which was previously considered to be gas prone, will see four new exploration wells in 2019, the company added.
Eni also reported Monday in a separate press release that it started production from the Vandumbu field in Block 15/06 through the Hub N'Goma FPSO.
"This, along with the start-up of a Subsea Multiphase Boosting System achieved on early December, is boosting the oil production from Block 15/06 by 20,000 barrels of oil per day via West Hub's N'Goma FPSO," Eni said.
The ramp-up of Vandumbu will be completed by March, and is expected to achieve 170,000 barrels of oil per day production, it added.
"The two start-ups mark a further step forward in the phased and clustered development strategy that Eni has adopted for Block 15/06, and which has allowed the start-up of eight fields since November 2014," Eni said.
Eni has been present in Angola since 1980 and currently accounts for an equity production of about 150,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Block 15/06, where the finding was made, "is developed by a Joint Venture formed by Eni (36.84%, Operator), Sonangol P&P (36.84%) and SSI Fifteen Limited (26.32%)."
Sonangol is a state company in Angola, which grants rights for exploration in the country, and represents the rights of 30 million citizens of the southwestern African nation.
Eni had reported the Kalimba discovery in June, which it estimated at the time of between 230 and 300 million barrels of light oil.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows Angolan reserves increased from 1.5 billion barrels in 1994 to 9.5 billion barrels in 2018.
Angola was able to achieve this growth once explorations started following the end of a civil war that had started immediately after its independence from Portugal, in 1975, and continued until 2002.