Denmark-based Maersk Oil, in partnership with Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola Empresa Pública (Sonangol), has confirmed an oil discovery at the Azul-1 deepwater exploration well, offshore Angola.

The exploration well, which is located in block 23 in the Kwanza Basin, was drilled in water depths of 923m and reached a final depth of 5,334m.

The condition of the well prevented an assessment of flow capacity by a conventional test.

This was performed as a mini-drill stem test that enabled the recovery of two good quality oil samples.

The preliminary interpretation of the data indicated a potential flow capacity greater than 3,000bopd.

Maersk Oil will further evaluate the results of this discovery, and will proceed with exploration work in the block.

Maersk operates the block with a 50% share along with partners Sonangol, which has 20%, and Sweden’s Svenska Petroleum Exploration, which has 30%.

Maersk Oil head of exploration Lars Nydahl Jorgensen said that the company was pleased by the results of the first pre-salt exploration well in the region, which was also the first deepwater well targeting pre-salt reservoirs in the Kwanza Basin.

"The results may be a further step towards our goal of building up a significant business in Angola," added Jorgensen. "Furthermore, there is substantial evaluation work ahead of us to determine whether the discovery is enough to invest further to get production going. This will be done by reprocessing seismic data, and fully appraising the discovery will take several years. It is far too early to guess the outcome."