Total SA (NYSE: TOT) said Jan. 30 that it and operator Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) had made a significant oil discovery at the Ballymore prospect in the deep offshore in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, its largest discovery in the area.

"This major discovery gives us access to large oil resources and follow on potential in the emerging Norphlet play," Arnaud Breuillac, Total's president for E&P, said in a statement.

"While already deemed commercially viable, we will work together on the appraisal of this discovery and a cost-effective scheme to ensure a rapid, low breakeven development," he added.

An assessment of the resource estimate was ongoing, the company said, adding that the discovery will bolster Total's new exploration strategy put in place since 2015.

The Ballymore prospect covers four blocks in the Norphlet play in the Mississippi Canyon area, including Block MC 607 where the discovery was made.

Total's acquisition of a 40% working interest in Ballymore was part of an exploration agreement along with Chevron, which has 60%, signed in September 2017.