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BP makes second significant gas discovery in Egypt’s East Mediterranean Sea; follows confirmation of $12B investment in West Nile Delta

BP Egypt announced another important gas discovery in the North Damietta Offshore Concession in the East Nile Delta. The “Atoll-1” deepwater exploration well, currently being drilled using the 6th generation semi-submersible rig “Maersk Discoverer,” has reached 6,400 meters depth and penetrated approximately 50 meters of gas pay in high quality Oligocene sandstones. Expected to be the deepest well ever drilled in Egypt, the Atoll well still has another 1 kilometer to drill to test the same reservoir section found to be gas bearing in BP’s significant 2013 Salamat discovery, 15 kilometers to the south.

Atoll-1 was drilled in 923m (3028 ft) water depth around 80 km (50 miles) north of Damietta city, 15 km (9 miles) north of Salamat and only 45 km (28 miles) to the north west of Temsah offshore facilities. BP has 100% equity in the discovery.

Success in Atoll further increases our confidence in the quality of the Nile Delta as a world class gas basin. This is the second significant discovery in the licence after Salamat. The estimated potential in the concession exceeds 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and we now have a positive starting point for the next possible major project in Egypt after BP’s West Nile Delta project.

—Bob Dudley, BP Group Chief Executive

West Nile Delta. BP last week announced that it has signed the final agreements of the West Nile Delta (WND) project to develop 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas resources and 55 million barrels (mmbbls) of condensates with an estimated investment of around $12 billion by BP and its partner.

Production from WND is expected to reach up to 1.2 billion cubic feet a day (bcf/d), equivalent to about 25 per cent of Egypt’s current gas production and significantly contribute to increasing the supply of energy in Egypt. All the produced gas will be fed into the country’s national gas grid, helping to meet the anticipated growth in local demand for energy. Production is expected to start in 2017.

Gas will be produced from two BP-operated offshore concession blocks, North Alexandria and West Mediterranean Deepwater. BP believes that there is the potential through future exploration to add a further 5-7 tcf which could boost WND production with additional investments.

The scale of investment and activities of the WND project are expected to significantly contribute to the growth of petroleum-related industries and to Egyptian employment.

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