Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it discovered oil at two exploration wells off the coast of the Republic of Congo, perhaps adding new reserves to the company's existing operations in the area. Chevron has previously been active in Africa and currently does business in Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone, among other African countries.
California-based Chevron (CVX) owns 31.5% of the wells while France's Total (TOT) owns 53.5%. Societe Nationale des Petroles du Congo owns the remaining stake.
The discoveries were made at depths of 2,600 feet and are about 40 miles offshore. They are part of an existing project that came online in 2008 and currently produces about 90,000 barrels of crude a day, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Chevron and its partners will need to conduct more testing to determine the total amount of recoverable reserves from the two blocks, which are named Bilondo Marine 2 and 3, but the new discoveries bolster the belief that west Africa is one of the more oil rich corners of the globe.