A consortium of oil companies, including Italy's Eni and Russia's largest private oil company LUKoil, discovered oil in the eastern part of the Libyan Desert 290 kilometers southwest of Alexandria, Eni said on Thursday.
"During production tests, the [ninth] well gushed 3,500 barrels of high quality oil per day and one million standard cubic feet per day of associated gas. The discovery is now estimated to range between 150 and 250 million barrels of oil and will require further appraisal drilling," Eni said in a statement.
Oil at the Meleiha field was discovered at a depth of 3,628 meters. The participants of the project will drill other development wells in 2012 to reach a production level of nearly 10,000 barrels of oil per day in the next few months.
The participants of the project to develop the Meleiha oil field include Eni with 56 percent, LUKoil with 24 percent and Japan's Mitsui with a 20-percent stake.