ExxonMobil Corporation announced a significant discovery with a potential recoverable resource of between 500m and 1b barrels of oil on the Owowo field offshore Nigeria, Business Wire reported.

The company stated that the Owowo-3 well, which was spud late September, encountered about 140 meters of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. Owowo-3 extends the resource discovered by the Owowo-2 well, which encountered about 157 meters of oil-bearing sandstone reservoir, according to Ventures Africa. The Owowo field spans portions of the contract areas of Oil Prospecting License 223 (OPL 223) and Oil Mining License 139 (OML 139).

ExxonMobil holds 27% interest and is the operator for OPL 223 and OML 139. Joint venture partners include Chevron Nigeria Deepwater G Limited at 27%, Total E&P Nigeria Limited at 18%, Nexen Petroleum Deepwater Nigeria Limited at 18%, and the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company Limited at 10%.

Nigeria’s crude oil and condensate production has declined significantly from the beginning of 2016 due to continued attacks on oil pipelines and production facilities by militants in the Niger Delta. But this discovery will have a positive impact on the country’s crippled production and export operations.

The development is also an encouragement to ExxonMobil which together with other oil exploration companies, Dutch-British Shell and Chevron, lost $7.1b, about 70% of earnings in the first half of 2016 to militancy, low oil prices, and weak refinery margins. According to ExxonMobil’s President, Stephen M. Greenlee, “we are encouraged by the results and will work with our partners and the government on future development plans.”