Talks to restart work on Egypt’s $10bn North Alexandria gas project are progressing according to the field’s operator, British oil and gas company BP.

“[Negotiations are] moving forward, but not finalised,” said a BP spokesperson, commenting on the ongoing talks.

The North Alexandria concession holds estimated recoverable reserves of 5 trillion cubic feet of gas and condensate, but the project to develop the concession has been on hold since 2011.

BP and its partner in the North Alexandria project, Germany’s RWE, are also involved in the $1.8bn West Mediterranean deepwater concession, which is part of the West Nile Delta (WND) development.

Development of the West Mediterranean concession is also currently on hold.

Speaking last week at a conference in Egypt, Nader Zaki, BP’s Egypt country chief, said the company remained committed to unlocking Egypt’s oil and gas potential and is aiming to double its gas production.

“This will be achieved by injecting more than $12bn in the next five years to execute the WND strategic megaproject, as well as continuing to invest in our existing oil operations,” he said.

BP is planning to increase its gas production in Egypt from 1 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) to 2 billion cf/d through existing East Nile delta activities and the West Nile Delta project, according to Zaki.

Egypt is currently experiencing its worst gas crisis in decades. Production is falling due to underinvestment from foreign oil companies in gas development projects.

Foreign oil companies have become wary of investing in Egyptian assets due to the low prices paid to producers and the large debts the government has built up to overseas energy companies.

In October, the oil ministry said that it owed $4.9bn to foreign energy companies.