Italian oil major Eni has discovered natural gas reserves in Egypt's Nile Delta, with initial estimates indicating the potential for 15 billion cubic meters of gas.
The company said in a statement Monday that the discovery, which was made in the Nooros exploration prospect in the Abu Madi West license area, would be put into production within two months using existing gas treatment facilities about 25 kilometers southeast of the site.
Abu Madi, 120 kilometers northeast of Alexandria on Egypt's Mediterranean coast, is one of Egypt's largest gas fields and was originally discovered by Eni’s subsidiary, the International Egyptian Oil Company in 1967, through which Eni currently holds 75 percent of exploration rights, while British Petroleum holds 25 percent.
Eni said the discovery represents the company's new strategy to focus its efforts on near field and incremental exploration opportunities with high potential value, which can be quickly exploited through existing and nearby infrastructures, as is the case in the Abu Madi area.
The oil company recently signed an energy exploration and drilling deal worth around 2 billion dollars over the period of four years with Egypt in June, as a part of the country's attempts to amend gas prices in some of its agreements.
Earlier in July, Egypt raised the prices it pays Eni for its natural gas production to improve conditions for foreign oil and gas companies in hope that the more competitive prices will encourage investment.
Eni has been operating in Egypt since 1954 through its Egyptian subsidiary and is the country's main hydrocarbon producer, supplying a little over a quarter of Egypt's annual oil and gas production. The company produces from between 180,000 and 210,000 barrels of oil per day.