• Discovery could hold as much as 15 billion cubic metres of gas
  • Site is located in Abu Madi West licence
  • Eni holds 75 per cent working interest in Abu Madi West development lease

Italian energy company Eni has discovered a hydrocarbons reserve in Egypt’s Nile Delta region that could hold as much as 15 billion cubic metres of gas, as well as associated condensates, according to company estimates.

The discovery is in the Nooros exploration prospect, located in the Abu Madi West licence in the Nile Delta, 120 kilometers northeast of Alexandria, Egypt.

“The new discovery will be put into production in two months’ time through a tie-in to the existing Abu Madi gas treatment plant, located 25km southeast,” the company said in a statement released on 20 July.

Eni, through its subsidiary International Egyptian Oil Company (IEOC), holds a 75 per cent working interest in the Abu Madi West development lease, with the UK’s BP as a partner with 25 per cent.

Petrobel, owned 50:50 by IEOC and Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) is the operator of the concession. 

“This discovery is the result of… Eni’s strategy to refocus its activity on near field and incremental exploration opportunities with high potential value, which allow in case of success their quick exploitation through the already existing and synergic nearby infrastructures,” the company said in its statement.

In July, Egypt signed a deal with Eni agreeing to increase the price paid for natural gas it produces in the country. The deal came after preliminary agreements were signed in March and June.

On 1 June, Egypt’s oil ministry announced that Eni had signed an exploration deal worth $2bn with Egypt’s state-owned energy company.

The contract granted the Italian company permission to explore areas in the Sinai peninsula, the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean, as well as areas in the Nile Delta.

Under the deal, Eni has agreed to invest three-quarters of the total sum in exploration, development and operation in Sinai and the Nile Delta.

Eni has been producing hydrocarbons in Egypt since 1954.

In 2014, it accounted for 28 per cent of the country’s oil output and 27 per cent of natural gas production.

Its principal oil field is Belayim, which lies on the eastern side of the Gulf of Suez and was Egypt’s first major discovery. In 2014, the asset produced 101,300 barrels a day (b/d). Eni’s share was 52,000 b/d.

Stay informed with the latest in the Middle East
Download the MEED app today, available on Apple and Android devices