Another Big Gas Field Starts Production Offshore Egypt

More gas is flowing from Egyptian waters and the Eastern Mediterranean with BP’s launch of its Atoll Phase One project.

BP’s Atoll Phase One project involves a subsea tieback 110 km to the shore, nearly the same distance between Cairo and Suez. Source: BP.

The Atoll Phase One project in the East Nile Delta is flowing 350 MMcf/D of gas and 10,000 B/D of condensate to shore after starting up “7 months ahead of schedule and 33% below the initial cost estimate,” operator BP reported.

The $1-billion project in the North Damietta concession provides another heavy stream of gas for domestic use in Egypt following the 2017 production launches of the Eni-operated supergiant Zohr field and the BP-operated Taurus and Libra fields of the West Nile Delta development. BP has a 10% stake in the Shorouk concession containing Zohr, which is expected to flow 1 Bcf/D by midyear. The British supermajor operates the West Nile Delta project with an 82.75% interest in the project partnership.

All three projects were fast tracked with reduced timeframes between sanction and startup. The Atoll discovery was announced in March 2015, and the project was sanctioned in June 2016. BP credits Phase One’s quick launch to expedited subsea infrastructure installation and onshore facilities upgrading.

Phase One involved the recompletion of the original Atoll exploration well to a producing well and the drilling of two more production wells that were completed between August 2015 and February 2017. Output is exported onshore to the West Harbor gas processing plant for eventual use in Egypt’s national grid. At 110 km, the subsea tieback is nearly the same distance between Cairo and Suez.

If deemed successful, Atoll Phase One could lead to investment in Atoll Phase Two full-field development, BP said. Atoll field’s main reservoir is estimated to hold 1.5 Tcf of gas and 31 million bbl of condensate.

BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley reinforced his firm’s commitment to Egypt on 12 February, saying it plans to invest more than $1 billion in the country in 2018. The firm is advancing the second West Nile Delta project, which includes the Giza and Fayoum fields, toward startup this year. It consists of 15 wells including subsea tiebacks to the shore. Fluids will be processed through an onshore plant modified for Giza and Fayoum.

The entire West Nile Delta project involves development of 5 Tcf of gas resources and 55 million bbl of condensates. Once all development phases are complete, total production could reach 1.3 billion Bcf/D.

Beyond Egypt, Eastern Mediterranean activity continues to heat up. Eni last week announced that its Calypso 1 NFW well off Cyprus encountered an extended gas column, confirming the extension of a “Zohr-like” play. The Italian operator also signed exploration and production agreements for Blocks 4 and 9 in the deep waters off Lebanon. Noble Energy’s much-anticipated Leviathan gas project off Israel is targeting startup by yearend 2019.