New Gas Discovery in North El Hammad Offshore Egypt

Eni (as the Operator of the Block), bp and Total (as Contractor members) have successfully drilled the first exploration well in the North El Hammad license, in the conventional Egyptian waters of the Nile Delta, on the prospect called Bashrush.

The new discovery is located in 22 meters of water depth, 11 km from the coast and 12 km North-West from the Nooros field and about 1 km west of the Baltim South West field, both already in production.

The well discovered a single 152 meters thick gas column within the Messinian age sandstones of the Abu Madi formation with excellent petrophysical properties. The well will be tested for production.

The discovery of Bashrush demonstrates the significant gas and condensate potential of the Messinian formations in this sector of the Egyptian Offshore shallow waters. The discovery of Bashrush further extends to the west the gas potential of the Abu Madi formation reservoirs discovered and produced from the so-called ‘Great Nooros Area’.

Eni, together with its partners BP and Total, in coordination with the Egyptian Petroleum Sector, will begin screening the development options of this new discovery, with the aim of ‘fast tracking’ production through synergies with the area’s existing infrastructures.

In parallel with the development activities associated with this new discovery, Eni will continue to explore the ‘Great Nooros Area’ with the drilling, this year, of another exploration well called Nidoco NW-1 DIR, located in the Abu Madi West concession.

The discovery of Bashrush is further demonstration of the effectiveness of Eni’s ‘incremental’ exploration strategy, aimed at selecting high value opportunities and ensuring fast development of the new discoveries through existing infrastructures.

In the North El Hammad concession, which is in participation with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), Eni through its affiliate IEOC holds 37.5% interest, the role of Operator, bp holds the 37.5%, and Total holds the 25% of the Contractor interest.

Eni has been present in Egypt since 1954, where it operates through IEOC Production. The 2020 equity production of IEOC is in the range of 280,000 boepd.

The Nooros gas field, located in one of the most prolific areas of the Nile Delta, was brought into production in record time in August 2015 – the same year it was discovered. Most of the gas comes from the Nidoco NW deposit and its surrounding areas in the Abu Madi West concession, which lies within the Great Nooros Area. In 2019 Eni produced 192 kboe/d (94 kboe/d net to Eni). Development activities were completed at the Nooros field with the installation of a new gas pipeline to the El Gamil treatment plant to production optimization and reserves’ recovery maximization.


The Great Nooros Area

In June 2016, Baltim South West was discovered, with BP and operator Eni both having a 50 per cent interest. It is located 10km north of the Nooros field, in the development lease (DL) area of Baltim South, and has enhanced the importance of the Great Nooros Area, which has overall potential of around three trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas; with two Tcf in the Nooros deposit and the remainder in Baltim South West. During 2019, the Baltim South West offshore project (Eni operator with a 50% interest) was completed with production start-up. Development activities concerned the installation of a production platform and the pipeline to the Abu Madi treatment plant. The start-up was achieved just 19 months from the FID confirming the success of Eni’s strategy in a fast-track approach to develop and start-up projects.



Total, Eni’s Egyptian subsidiary IEOC, and bp have commenced the gas and oil exploration program in the North El Hammad block, located in the conventional offshore of the Mediterranean Sea, in 2017. The program aims to explore more fields in the area in order to increase Egypt’s oil and natural gas domestic.

In December 2016, the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum signed three deals on exploration and production of oil and gas in with France’s Total, Britain’s bp, and Italian oil major Eni’s Egyptian subsidiary IEOC.

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