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American oil and gas company, ExxonMobil says it has discovered about 1 billion barrels of oil off the coast of Bayelsa State, in Nigeria’s far south.

An e-mailed statement from the firm describes the find as “significant”, and suggests that it has the potential to yield recoverable resource of between 500 million and 1 billion barrels. According to ExxonMobil, engineers carrying out a drilling exercise at the Owowo-3 oil well struck the 460-feet oil-bearing sandstone reservoir on September 23.

Reacting to the statement, ExxonMobil’s president, Stephen Greenlee, said that the company was encouraged by the discovery, and that it would be working with their partners and the government on future development plans.

The news of the discovery is a rare silver lining in the otherwise blackened clouds which has hovered over the oil industry in recent times. Vanguard reports that Lagos based research firm, SBM Intelligence Risk Analyst, estimated that oil giants ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron lost $7.1 billion in the first half of 2016, due to militant attacks, low oil prices and weak refinery margins. ExxonMobil had announced a few days ago that it was selling its 60 percent stake in Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc to Nipco Investment, a subsidiary of Nigerian oil and gas company NIPCO plc.

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This article was first published on 28th October 2016


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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