Russian oil and gas group Rosneft has agreed to acquire a 30 per cent stake in the Egyptian concession containing the supergiant Zohr gas field.

Italy’s Eni, which holds a 90 per cent stake in the Shorouk concession, said it would divest the stake to Rosneft having recently sold a 10 per cent interest to UK-based BP.

Rosneft will pay $1.25bn for the stake in addition to a pro-quota reembursement of past expenditures amounting to $540m. The Russian group has an option to buy a further 5 per cent stake in the concession.

The Zohr field, located in the Shorouk Concession, was discovered by Eni in August 2015 and is the largest natural gas field ever found in the Mediterranean, with a total potential of 850 billion cubic metres of gas in place. The first gas is expected to be produced by the end of 2017.

The Rosneft deal is subject to subject to the fulfillment of certain standard conditions, including all necessary authorisations from Egypt’s authorities, said Eni.

Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi has said the group is weighing up plans to sell down its stake in the Shorouk concession to 50 per cent. The Rosneft divestment will leave it with 60 per cent.

Last week Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Switzerland-based Glencore have acquired a 19.5 per cent stake in Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer, for €10.2bn ($11bn).