[Editor’s note: This story was updated at 8:20 a.m. CT Dec. 11.]

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Malaysia’s Petronas made their first hydrocarbon discovery in Suriname with the successful drilling of the Sloanea-1 exploration well located in Block 52, the companies said Dec. 11.

The Suriname discovery further strengthens Exxon Mobil’s portfolio along with its other recent exploration success in the same basin in Guyana.

“Our first discovery in Suriname extends Exxon Mobil’s leading position in South America, building on our successful investments in Guyana,” Mike Cousins, senior vice president of exploration and new ventures at Exxon Mobil, said in a statement. “We will continue to leverage our deepwater expertise and advanced technology to explore frontier environments with the highest value resource potential.”

Block 52, which covers an area of 1.2 million acres (4,749 sq km), is located north of the coast of Suriname capital Paramaribo and is situated within the prospective Suriname-Guyana basin, where several major hydrocarbon discoveries have been made, Petronas said.

Petronas drilled the well to a total depth of approximately 15,682 ft (4,780 m) using the Maersk Developer rig. The firm said the Sloanea-1 exploration well encountered several hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone packages with good reservoir qualities in the Campanian section.

“The well data proves excellent calibration of the hydrocarbon potential of the block,” it said, adding that it is undertaking further evaluation to determine the full extent of the discovery.

The discovery will drive Petronas to continue exploring in Suriname, which is one of its focus basins, said Emeliana Rice-Oxley, vice president of exploration, upstream.

Block 52 is jointly owned by Petronas subsidiary Suriname E&P B.V., ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Suriname B.V. The water depths on Block 52 range from 160 ft to 3,600 ft (50 m to 1,100 m).

Reuters contributed to this article.