Japanese oil company Inpex has announced the discovery of oil at the Bestari-1 exploration well in Deepwater Block R, East Malaysia.

Preliminary findings in Deepwater Block R showed an approximately 70m column of oil-bearing sands across multiple locations.

The block covers a 672km² area, with a water depth ranging from 100m to 1,400m.

"The company plans to proceed with drilling of two exploratory wells in order to assess the possibility of new oil and natural gas deposits."

Inpex highlighted that it has a participating interest of 27.5% in Block R through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Inpex Offshore South West Sabah.

Japan’s JX Nippon has a 27.5% operating interest in the block, with Malaysia’s Petronas holding a 25% interest, and Santos Sabah Block R Limited holding a 20% interest.

The Japanese oil company highlighted that moving forward, the company, along with its partners, will analyse and evaluate the data retrieved from the well.

After analysing the data, the company plans to proceed with drilling of two exploratory wells in order to assess the possibility of new oil and natural gas deposits.

Inpex stated: "Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation would cover up to 50% of exploration expenditure incurred by Inpex Offshore South West Sabah, Ltd. through equity capital."

Inpex has more than 70 active projects across 25 countries.