Hess has made an oil discovery with the Esox-1 exploration well drilled in the US Gulf of Mexico, with the find set to be fast-tracked as a subsea tie-back to the Tubular Bells platform.

The probe struck around 191 net feet of “high-quality oil-bearing Miocene reservoirs” after being drilled by Diamond Offshore Drilling-owned drillship Ocean BlackRhino in 4609 feet of water in Mississippi Canyon block 726 in the deep-water US Gulf, according to the US independent.

Chief executive John Hess said “we expect the well to be producing in the first quarter of 2020” through the Tubular Bells facility that is also operated by Hess, with Chevron as partner.

He added the discovery “demonstrates the value of our infrastructure-led exploration programme in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico”.