* Significant oil discovery in Gulf of Mexico
* Potential of several hundred million barrels of oil
* Further tests needed to confirm size of prospect
PARIS, Dec 5 Total has made a
significant oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico with a potential
of several hundred million barrels of oil, the French oil major
said on Wednesday.
Total and its partner Cobalt International Energy
made the discovery at the North Platte offshore prospect, t he
first well drilled by the two companies as part of their
Further tests will be needed to confirm the size and
commercial potential of the site, Total said.
"The North Platte discovery represents another example of
Total's bold exploration strategy targeting large exploration
opportunities," Marc Blaizot, Total's senior vice president for
exploration, said in a statement.
Over the past two years, Total has started buying and
s elling assets more actively, merging its refining and chemical
units and hiking its exploration budget to drill wells in
riskier, but potentially higher-yielding areas to add reserves.