Norwegian oil firm Equinor and partners have discovered oil at the Monument exploration well in the US Gulf of Mexico.

The well encountered about 200ft (approximately 60m) of net oil pay with good characteristics in Paleogene sandstone reservoir.

Drilled in Walker Ridge block 316, the latest discovery provides an early indication of the productive reservoir interval at the location of the well.

Located in the central US Gulf of Mexico, the Monument exploration well is operated by Equinor. It owns a 50% stake in the prospect, while its partners Progress Resources and Repsol own 30% and 20% respectively.

Equinor said the well was drilled using the Pacific Khamsin rig to a total depth of 33,348ft.

North America exploration senior vice-president Bjørn Inge Braathen said: “We are pleased to have proved an accumulation of movable hydrocarbons in the Monument exploration well.

“However, determining the full potential of the discovery will require further appraisal drilling.”

Equinor has been operating Monument prospect since 2015. Monument is the company’s first operated exploration well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Last month, Equinor detailed its announced capital expenditure (capex) cuts. It will cut one-fifth of its capex, moving from $10bn-$11bn to $8.5bn. It will also attempt to reduce operating costs by $700m across 2020. Equinor is one of many companies to cut capital expenditure in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the same month, the company announced its Johan Sverdrup oilfield is ramping up production at a faster pace than originally expected.