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BP Speeds Up Development Of Giant Gas Field In Egypt

Offshore Oil Rig

Only 15 months after the discovery of a giant offshore gas field in Egypt, British Petroleum (BP) has approved its first phase development and is fast-tracking development of the 300-million-cubic-feet natural gas project.

BP said Monday that the undisclosed amount for the first phase of investment had been approved and the deepwater Atoll gas field would come online in the first half of 2018.

The field, discovered in March 2015, is estimated to contain 1.5 trillion cubic feet of gas and 31 million barrels of condensates.

"BP is proud to progress the acceleration of the Atoll project which will bring critical gas to the Egyptian market," BP Regional President Hesham Mekawi said in a statement.

BP holds 100 percent of the Atoll project, and will develop the project with Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS).

Phase one will include the recompletion of the existing exploration well as a producing well, the drilling of two additional wells and the installation of the necessary tie-ins and facilities required to produce from the field.

BP is a major producer in Egypt—at one point responsible for close to 30 percent of the country’s total natural gas production and 40 percent of its total oil production. Now it’s eyeing an even bigger role that would use Atoll to turn Egypt’s East Nile Delta into a major energy hub.

BP is competing for Egyptian oil and gas potential with Italian Eni, which late last year discovered the Zohr gas field in the West Nile Delta—the largest in the Mediterranean—which is slated to come on line by the end of 2017. Zohr is estimated to have 5 trillion cubic feet of potential natural gas reserves, with full-scale production expected to pump out 1.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day next year.

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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