Oil major BP announced a "major" gas discovery offshore Senegal with joint venture partner Kosmos Energy today, which it says further backs up claims the area is home to a world-class hydrocarbon basin.
The Yakaar-1 exploration well is part of a nearly $1bn (£773m) investment BP made into gas exploration in West Africa late last year.
Kosmos estimates Yakaar-1 discovered a gross gas resource of approximately 15 trillion cubic feet (tcf), in line with pre-drill expectations.
The 33,000 square km of acreage covered by the joint venture also includes the Tortue field, which is estimated by Kosmos to contain more than 15 tcf of discovered gas resources.
Bernard Looney, BP upstream chief executive, said: “Yakaar-1 follows the earlier exploration success that led to the Tortue discovery and further confirms our belief that offshore Senegal and Mauritania is a world-class hydrocarbon basin."
This discovery marks an important further step in building BP’s new business in Mauritania and Senegal. We look forward to results from the additional exploration wells planned for 2017.
Andrew Inglis, chairman and chief executive of Kosmos, said: “Kosmos has a 100 per cent success rate in the basin with six consecutive successful exploration and appraisal wells drilled to date.
"The result also confirms our view of the potential scale of the petroleum system offshore Mauritania and Senegal."
Read more: A dealmaking BP is emerging from crisis
BP and Kosmos will be drill stem testing the Tortue discovery in mid-2017 and will now drill three additional exploration wells over the next 12 months offshore of Senegal and Mauritania.
Last week, BP's first quarter profits smashed analyst expectations due to rising oil prices. Brent crude oil prices averaged around $54 per barrel in the first quarter of 2017, compared with just under $34 a barrel in the same period last year, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.