BP discovers second big natural gas reservoir in Egypt

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BP said Monday it has struck a second giant pocket of natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea near Egypt that could be a starting point for its next major project in the region, as it plans to pour $12 billion into gas fields there.

The British oil giant’s new gas discovery contains more than 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent. Its Atoll gas well, which BP said could be the deepest well ever in the region, was drilled in more than 3,000 feet of water and to a depth of 21,000 feet underground in the East Nile Delta, about 50 miles north of Damietta city.

“Success in Atoll further increases our confidence in the quality of the Nile Delta as a world class basin,” BP CEO Bob Dudley said in a written statement. BP may drill another kilometer deep. The discovery is about 9 miles north of its other big project there, in the West Nile Delta.

The announcement comes after the oil major had said on Friday it has inked a $12 billion deal alongside a partner to develop 5 trillion cubic feet of gas resources and 55 million barrels of condensates in the West Nile Delta. That represents about a quarter of Egypt’s current natural gas production.

With the new discovery, BP now has “a positive starting point for the next possible major project in Egypt after BP’s West Nile Delta project,” Dudley said.

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