UK oil and gas major BP has signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) with the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum, regarding the acceleration of the development of the recent Atoll gas discovery in the East Nile Delta, offshore Egypt.
The Atoll discovery in the North Damietta Offshore Concession was announced in March 2015. Atoll-1 was drilled with Maersk Discoverer semi-submersible drilling rig in 923m water depth around 80km north of Damietta city. BP has 100% equity in the discovery.
According to BP’s press release on Thursday, the agreement signed with Tarek El Molla, the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum, is expected to enable first production to be expedited from an estimated 1.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas resources and 31 million barrels (mmbbl) of condensates in the Atoll field to the domestic market, with production anticipated to begin in 2018.
Commenting on the agreement, BP Group Chief Executive (CEO) Bob Dudley said: “We are pleased to be making rapid progress towards the development of Atoll less than eight months after the announcement of its discovery. This is further demonstration of our continued confidence in Egypt – a key growth area for BP – and our commitment to continue to invest to unlock its energy potential.”
Full field development of Atoll is expected to consist of two phases, BP explains. The first phase will consist of two development wells tied back to existing infrastructure, with production expected to start up in 2018. BP added that success of the first phase is expected to trigger additional investment and further wells to increase production.
Hesham Mekawi, BP North Africa Regional President, said: “BP is proud of its longstanding partnership with Egypt over the past 50 years. Today’s agreement, which will bring additional production to the Egyptian domestic market and help to meet Egypt’s energy demands, is another important milestone for BP in Egypt following our recently announced West Nile Delta major project.”
BP says it also expects to continue investing in its existing oil operations led by its joint venture Gulf of Suez Petroleum Co. (GUPCO) and gas operations led by the Pharaonic Petroleum Co. (PhPC) joint venture, as well as continuing to progress its exploration program in the Nile Delta.
The UK-based company expects to sustain its current oil production and double its gas production in Egypt before the end of the decade to reach 2.5bcfd with partners, which represents more than 50% of Egypt’s current gas production.
Development of Atoll will be executed and operated by Pharaonic Petroleum Co. (PhPC), BP’s joint venture with EGAS and Eni, BP’s press release concluded.