Central African oil player, SOCO International, said it came up empty-handed while drilling the Baobab Marine 1 well in the waters off the coast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, UPI reported.

In early February, SOCO said it started drilling into the Baobab Marine 1 block off the Congolese coast, in an area, which was previously not known to carry reserves. It had characteristics similar to other oil-bearing sites in the region, according to the company. The well was targeting prospective reserves of around 350mb of oil.

The company said in an statement cited by RigZone that the well drilled to a measured depth of 10,744 feet in the Mer Profonde Sud Block, located in the Lower Congo Basin offshore the Republic of Congo, encountered no hydrocarbons, although good quality sands were present. The well will now be plugged and abandoned.
SOCO was under pressure for its activities onshore in the Democratic Republic of Congo because of operations inside the Virunga National Park, a protected area and home to the endangered mountain gorillas.
The company said in November it was writing off the costs associated with operations after giving up its DRC license in the park. SOCO signed a production sharing agreement with the DRC government in 2006.