The joint venture firms developing the North Shadwan offshore concession in Egypt should start the first commercial deliveries of oil in June, according to a statement from Beach Energy, one of the partners.

Initial production from the NS377-5 development well is expected to be 1,500 to 2,000 barrels a day (b/d), says Hector Gordon, chief executive officer of Beach Energy in the statement.

The well has reached a depth of 2,909 metres, after intersecting a gross oil column of 107 metres.

Full production at the field is expected to start in the third quarter of 2010 at an initial rate in excess of 3,000 b/d, according to Beach.

The crude oil will be exported through a 7 kilometre pipeline to processing facilities at Ras Ghara on the east coast of the Gulf of Suez.

NS377-5 is the second development well on the oilfield, following drilling of the NS 377-3 well.

The North Shadwan concession comprises offshore Blocks 377 and 385. Beach estimates the two oilfields contain 11 million barrels of gross recoverable reserves.

The North Shadwan Blocks are located 2 to 4 kilometres from the eastern shore of the Gulf of Suez, in depths of 20-40 metres.

BP operates the field with a 50 per cent stake, Beach Energy holds 20 per cent and Egypt’s TriOcean Energy holds 30 per cent.