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Shell, Nexen make big find in Gulf of Mexico

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and Canadian oil explorer Nexen Inc (NXY.TO) said they had made a “significant” discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, the latest in a string of big finds in the Gulf in the past year.

The companies said in statements on Friday that they had made the discovery at the Appomattox prospect in Mississippi Canyon blocks 391 and 392.

The companies added that the find lifted confidence in other unexplored sites in the area.

“The Appomattox discovery confirms our confidence in the play and provides a strong basis to evaluate the remainder of our significant acreage position in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico,” Nexen Chief Executive Marvin Romanow said.

Shell owns an 80 percent interest in Appomattox and Nexen owns 20 percent.

The Gulf of Mexico, one of the world’s most mature oil provinces, continues to be key to Western oil companies’s portfolios as new technology has opened ever deeper water to exploration.

(Reporting by Tom Bergin; editing by Simon Jessop)

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