Super independent Marathon Oil reported Monday that its partner, Total Gabon, has made its first-ever deepwater pre-salt discovery offshore Gabon.
The pre-salt Diaman-1B exploration well found 160-to-180 net feet of hydrocarbon pay, according to Marathon. The firm said that preliminary analysis suggests that the hydrocarbons are natural gas with a condensate content.
The well was drilled to a total depth of 18,323 feet in approximately 5,673 feet of water.
In June, Rigzone reported that oil and gas explorers were persevering with pre-salt drilling off West Africa despite recent disappointments offshore Namibia. Marathon said the discovery announced Monday "successfully confirms the existence of a working petroleum system and is the first discovery drilled in the deepwater portion of the pre-salt play" offshore Gabon.
Previously, U.S. junior explorer Harvest Natural Resources had made two discoveries offshore Gabon. In January of this year, it found the Tortue field in the pre-salt Gamba and Dentale formations, while in June 2011 it found a 90-foot oil column in the Gamba formation.
Marathon holds a 21.25-percent interest in the Diaba license, where Total Gabon is the operator with a 42.5-percent stake.