Italian oil and gas company Eni has announced that its exploration well located in Block 114, Song Hong Basin, offshore Vietnam has discovered the presence of gas and condensate in the Ken Bau prospect.

The company said that the result of the exploration well indicates a significant potential of the hydrocarbon accumulation. The Italian company’s subsidiary, Eni Vietnam, is the operator of Block 114 with a 50% share, while Essar E&P holds the remaining 50%.

Eni said that the exploration well, Ken Bau 1X, has been drilled at a depth of 95m below water level. The well, which reached a depth of 3,606m, encountered several pockets of gas and condensate sandstone interbedded with Miocene age shale. The company has estimated the net reservoir thickness at more than 100m.

Eni said that it has plugged and abandoned Ken Bau 1X well earlier than the original plan due to technical issues, before reaching deeper levels that could hold additional resources. Eni said that it is already planning a drilling campaign for early 2020 to assess the substantial upside of the discovery.

The results of Ken Bau 1X well represent a breakthrough for evaluating the exploration potential in the Song Hong Basin. Eni Vietnam also operates with a 100% stake in the neighbouring Block 116.

Eni has been operating in Vietnam since 2013. The company currently operates four blocks, all located in the underexplored Song Hong and Phu Khanh basins, offshore central Vietnam.

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Previously, Eni and Qatar Petroleum signed an agreement under which the Qatari national oil company will acquire a 13.75% share in the exploration blocks L11A, L11B and L12, in deep offshore Kenya.

The three blocks, L11A, L11B and L12, are located in water depths ranging from 1,000m to 2,700m. The blocks cover a surface of about 15,000km² and have a high exploration potential. Currently, Eni and Total hold 55% and 45% interest in the blocks respectively, with Eni as the operator. Qatar Petroleum will acquire 25% interest in each of the blocks, of which 13.75% will be from Eni and the remaining from Total.