ExxonMobil (XOM) has reportedly made a major oil discovery off Nigeria’s shores that could produce a billion barrels, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The news came as the Texas-based titan and Big Oil alike have experienced a significant slump in prices and profits over the last two years.
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The company announced that the Owowo-3 well, in tandem with the Owowo-2 well, confirmed the discovery of 500 million to 1 billion barrels of oil.
“We are encouraged by the results and will work with our partners and the government on future development plans,” Stephen M. Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company, said in a statement.
ExxonMobil owns a 27 percent interest in the well, according to the statement, as does Chevron Nigeria Deepwater. Several other Nigeria based companies own the rest.
The discovery is also a bit of good news for ExxonMobil, as well as Big Oil, which has experienced significant declines in its stock price over the last two years. Exxon has experienced a 17 percent decline in price since reaching its peak in 2014, CNN Money reported Wednesday. Its profits reached a 17-year low while its credit rating has also plunged.
Also on Wednesday, the New York Supreme Court ruled Price Waterhouse Cooper, Exxon’s auditing firm, must hand over documents pertaining to its carbon footprint and how it has impacted “climate change on its business and assets”, Reuters reported.
As of Thursday afternoon, Exxon was trading up $0.35 at $87.45, or up 0.41 percent. However, the price is still down significantly compared to its 52-week high of $95.55 set in July of this year.
It’s also a significant boon for Nigeria. Its Petroleum Ministry announced recently that production has reached of 1.9 million barrels per day. But the country is also still dealing with attacks on its oil infrastructure perpetrated by the militant Niger Delta Avengers group, which carried out an attack Tuesday, according to OilPrice.