Eni has finalised an agreement to merge the Meleiha and Meleiha Deep concessions in Egypt’s Western Desert into a new concession called Merged Meleiha.

The Italian energy giant signed the deal with the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Lukoil.

Additionally, the deal includes an extension of the concession to 2036 with the possibility for further extension to 2041.

The concession will be operated by Agiba, a 50/50 joint venture between Eni’s subsidiary IEOC Production and EGPC.

IEOC will own a 76% stake in Merged Meleiha while Lukoil will own the remaining 24% interest.

In a press statement, Eni said: “The agreement, which marks another important result for Eni in the prolific basin of the Egyptian Western Desert, will unlock, through enhanced contractual terms, the area’s considerable resources, thanks to a high-resolution 3D seismic acquisition and an intensive exploration and development drilling campaign.”

Eni expects the construction of a new gas treatment plant, which will be connected to the Western Desert Gas Complex in Alexandria, to enable it to further exploit gas reserves in the region.

Last year, Eni made an oil discovery in the Meleiha Concession following the drilling of the Arcadia 9 well on the Arcadia South structure. This structure is located 1.5km south of the main Arcadia field that is currently in production.

Currently, Eni, through its subsidiary IEOC, holds 38% interest in the Meleiha concession. Lukoil and EGPC hold 12% and 50% stakes respectively.

Eni has been operational in Egypt since 1954 and is one of the main producers in the country.

Its current equity hydrocarbon production stands at approximately 320,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.