Italy’s Eni yielded a new light oil discovery in deepwater Block 15/06 on Tuesday, representing the first commercial discovery in the block since the resumption of exploration activities after COVID-19.
The discovery – which carries estimated reserves between 200 and 250 million barrels of oil – is the second significant discovery within the Cabaça Development Area. The well was drilled in the Cuica exploration prospect in deep waters of 500 meters with a total vertical depth of 4,100 meters.
According to Eni – which currently produces around 120,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in Angola – preliminary data suggests an estimated production capacity of 10,000 bopd.
The Cuica-1 NFW well was the result of an infrastructure-led exploration strategy, in which the “the location of the wellhead, intentionally placed close to the floating production storage and offloading unit in the East Pole, will allow a quick connection from the exploration well to the relevant production,” according to a statement by the company.
Pre-COVID-19, Block 15/06 yielded several commercial discoveries via the Kalimba, Afoxé, Ndungu, Agidigbo, Agogo wells and evaluation wells. In addition, Eni operates offshore Block 1/14 in the Lower Congo Basin and the onshore Cabinda Norte and Cabinda Centro blocks, and plans to increase its operated areas within offshore Block 28 in the Namibe Basin.
Angola – in which Eni has been active since 1980 – plays a critical role in the company’s growth strategy. On Tuesday, the company announced that it will invest $7 billion dollars by 2025 in research, production, refining and solar activities in Angola, with the trifold aim of reducing carbon emissions, creating jobs and diversifying the economy via strategic sectors, including agriculture.
The announcement followed a high-level meeting between Angolan President H.E. João Lourenço, Chairman of the Board of Eni, Claudio Descalzi and CEO of Eni, Guido Brusco, aimed at evaluating existing developments – including gas monetization, the development of a third production hub in Block 15/06 and renewed commitment to the Luanda refinery – along with exploring new areas for cooperation.
According to Brusco, several key projects are underway. In terms of social contributions, initiatives to expand access to clean water supply and electricity are in progress in Cabinda, Huíla and Namibe, along with a program that will train over 600 doctors in Luanda and Cabinda provinces.