Spanish energy firm Repsol’s shares jumped 2.5 percent after it announced it has found an oil field containing about 1.2 billion barrels of “recoverable” light crude which means it could produce enough to supply all of the consumption needs of Spain for four years.
The discovery, which was made with its US partner Armstrong Energy, is in Alaska and Repsol said it is “the largest conventional hydrocarbon find in the last 30 years in America”.
It is all the more surprising as northern Alaska’s North Slope area was considered to be in decline.
A spokesman said this was the company’s most important discovery since the Perla deposit in Venezuela in 2009.
Production at the new site is set to start in 2021 and will be a significant boost to Repsol which saw output fall after it pulled out of Libya where it produced 340,000 barrels per day.
In 2016, Repsol’s production averaged 690,000 barrels per day, up 23 percent, allowing the group to return to profit.