Italian energy company Eni announced it brought the Nene Marine field into production off the coast of the Republic of the Congo, 16 months after discovery.

The field is located in shallow waters about 10 miles off the coast of Congo. With more than 30 production wells planned, the company expects the field to produce an eventual 140,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).

“The startup of Nene Marine field achieved just eight months after obtaining the production permit is a great result for Eni, and confirms our strategy of rapid exploitation of exploration resources,” Claudio Descalzi, the company’s chief executive officer, said in a Monday statement.

Eni made its first discovery at the field in late 2013. First production is yielding about 7,500 boe/d.

In mid December, the company said it completed a production test in the Minsala Marine 1 NFW well off the Congolese coast, yielding more than 5,000 b/d of oil and 14 mcf/d of natural gas in natural flow.

Reserves off the West African coast are similar to those in Brazil in that they’re located beneath a thick layer of submarine salt. Eni said it’s already discovered about 4 billion barrels of oil in basins off the Congolese and Gabonese coasts since it started work there more than four years ago.

Eni has been operating in Congo since the late 1960s, producing around 100,000 b/d of oil.

Source: United Press International (UPI)