Exploration firm Neptune Energy has discovered oil at the Schwegenheim exploration well in the Rhine Valley, Germany.

Drilled to a depth of 2,600m, the well encountered two oil bearing layers. The drilling programme was carried out between September and November last year.

The exploration company, based in the UK, said that the well has now been safely suspended.

Neptune Energy operates the production licence of the Schwegenheim exploration well. The license is owned by Neptune Energy and Palatina GeoCon, with an ownership of 50% each.

Neptune Energy Germany managing director Andreas Scheck said: “The Bunter Sandstone reservoir, as an equivalent to the nearby Römerberg structure, was dry but two secondary target upper layers showed oil indications.

“During production tests, we have already transported 1,500 bbl of crude oil to the refinery in Karlsruhe. While initial results have been positive, further assessment is required before it can be determined that oil can be produced economically from this structure in the long-term.”

With the successful discovery, Neptune will apply to the responsible mining authority in the Rhineland-Palatinate state in order to receive necessary permits on further production measures in Schwegenheim.

Last month, Neptune Energy produced first gas from the L5a-D4 well in the deepest producing gas field in the Dutch North Sea.

In July last year, Neptune Energy and its joint venture partners BP and JAPEX awarded an engineering and construction contract to TechnipFMC for the Seagull development oil project in the UK North Sea.