Perenco has hit oil with an exploration well offshore Congo-Brazzaville, with the possibility that this successful probe has opened up a new geological play.

The privately-owned French independent, whose portfolio is heavily focused on West Africa, said the well, Tchinem 1-01, targeted a deeper zone underlying the Tchibeli North East field in its shallow water Pointe Noire Grand Fond (PNGF) Sud licence.

The probe hit oil in the pre-salt Vandji play which, being located beneath a layer of salt, makes seismic imaging and drilling a challenge.