The agreement will entail the exploration and development of oil and gas reserves over the 1,949-square-kilometre acreage. BG Egypt is the field operator and holds a 50 per cent interest in the concession.

The remaining 50 per cent will be held by Petronas’ local subsidiary Petronas Carigali Overseas. ‘We plan to acquire 3D seismic [data] in 2007 and expect to drill the first well in 2008,’ says BG Egypt president Ian Hewitt.

Gas to be produced from the concession is likely to be used as feedstock for the planned third liquefied natural gas (LNG) train at BG’s Idku plant. BG, along with Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), one of its partners in the Egyptian LNG (ELNG) holding company, is carrying out initial work for the proposed new train.

Progress on the project has so far been held back due to lack of gas feedstock. BG is now hoping to develop the third train, with expected capacity of 3.6 million tonnes a year, in tandem with its Gaza concession. The Gaza marine field, in which BG holds a 90 per cent stake, is to supply about half of the train’s feedstock (MEED 2:6:06).