Eni SpA and BP Plc made a fresh natural gas discovery off the Egyptian coast, adding to a series of finds in the region in the last year.
The explorers made a “significant” discovery in the Baltim South West exploration prospect in the Nile Delta, according to a statement from the Italian oil company. Eni, the operator, and BP each hold a 50 percent stake in the Baltim South license.
The announcement follows another find in the nearby Nooros field in July and the “super giant” Zohr discovery, announced in August, which Eni said at the time was the largest gas find in the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt announced it would keep all the natural gas for itself, allowing the country to cut its LNG imports and encouraging competition for the cleaner-burning fuel.
Today’s news is “positive given unsatiated domestic gas demand” in Egypt, according to Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.
The well found gas-bearing rock with “excellent” reservoir properties at a depth of 25 meters underwater, Eni said. The discovery is 10 kilometers from the Nooros field, which is already pumping 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, according to Eni. The so-called Great Nooros Area is now estimated to hold 70 billion to 80 billion cubic meters of gas, it said.
Gas discoveries have outstripped oil in each of the last four years. That’s the longest streak since at least 1950, according to industry consultant Rystad Energy. Explorers have targeted more gas fields as demand for the less-polluting fuel rises.