Equatorial Guinea’s Hydrocarbons Ministry announced that US oil major ExxonMobil has signed a production-sharing contract with Equatorial Guinea for offshore block EG-11, Reuters reported.

Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Gabriel Obiang, said, “Block EG-11 is the jewel among a group of already very prospective blocks that we are signing in 2017.”

According to Oil Price, during the Africa Oil & Power 2017 Conference in Cape Town, Equatorial Guinea announced that the new contract was signed through direct negotiation, and was not part of the EG Ronda 2016 licensing round.

The production-sharing contract with ExxonMobil is for a block next to the Zafiro field, operated by the company. ExxonMobil has a 71% interest in the Zafiro field, whose net production averaged 31,000b/d in 2016, the US group said in its 2016 financial and operating review.

In addition, the firm holds an 80% interest in Block EG-06, on which nearly 600 square miles of 3D seismic data were acquired in 2015. Technical evaluation is under way, ExxonMobil said.