Repsol reports major oil discovery in Sierra Leone

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Spain's biggest oil company, Repsol YPF SA, said Monday it has made a major oil discovery in an exploration well off the coast of Sierra Leone, its second in the West African country in the past two years.

"The high quality light crude find underlines the significant potential of the relatively unexplored area," it said in a statement.

Repsol has a 25 percent stake in the consortium that made the find, which is led by Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. with a 65 percent stake. Britain's Tullow Oil holds the remaining 10 percent stake.

The consortium made the find at their Mercury-1 exploration well at a depth of about 15,950 feet (4,860 meters) in about 5,250 feet of water.

"The partners are evaluating the results of the find and plan to drill new exploration wells to determine the area's commercial viability," Repsol said.

In September 2009 Repsol announced its first oil find off the coast of Sierra Leone at its Venus-B1 exploration well. It has been drilling for oil in the country since 2003.

The company, which is seeking to to offset declining output from its Argentine oil and gas fields, also unveiled finds in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela and northern Africa last year.

It plans to invest 11.82 billion dollars (8.63 billion euros) in exploration and production from 2008 through 2012.

© 2010 AFP

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