Italian energy firm Eni has made an oil discovery in Ecuador that could hold around 300 million barrels in place.
The company has discovered oil at the Oglan-2 exploration well located in Block 10, about 260km south-east of Quito.
Drilling encountered a 236ft column of crude oil and initial production tests yielded a flow rate of 1,100 barrels of oil per day.
The discovery was made just 7km away from processing facilities, which are already producing about 12,500 bpd.
Eni has been operating Block 10 since February 2000 through its Agip Oil Ecuador unit.
The Oglan discovery is the result of Eni’s new exploration campaign, which the company is carrying out as part of its strategy to develop Block 10 under the new service contract signed with the Ecuadorian Government in 2010.
In Ecuador, Eni developed techniques to minimise the affect of its pipelines and production facilities on the environment and the company has also implemented a biodiversity programme.
Ecuador, which is the smallest member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, currently produces around 555,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Ecuador’s two state-run oil firms, Petroamazonas and Rio Napo, account for 78% of the country’s total crude oil production.