Exploration and production company Neptune Energy has commenced drilling operations at the Yakoot prospect offshore Egypt.

The Yakoot exploration well, which is situated in the North West El Amal Concession in the southern Gulf of Suez, is operated by Neptune Energy.

The 365km² North West El Amal offshore concession is situated 105km north-west of Hurghada and 42km south-east of Ras Gharib.

Notably, Yakoot exploration well is the first operational well that Neptune has drilled in Egypt.

Drilling operation is being conducted with the ADM-8 rig, which is run by ADES, and has a 3,600m final target depth.

In February 2019, Neptune received the exploration permit for the North West El Amal Concession, and in 2020, the company acquired advanced 3D seismic data.

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Neptune Energy managing director in Egypt Alexandra Thomas said: “Drilling the Yakoot prospect is a significant milestone for Neptune in Egypt and we are grateful for the support of the Egyptian Petroleum Ministry and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC). 

“After many months of careful preparation, working closely with our stakeholders and partners, we are fully focused on safely drilling this strategically important well.” 

In June this year, Italian energy major Eni along with its Norwegian business Vår Energi signed a deal to buy Neptune Energy in a deal valued at about $4.9bn (€4.51bn).

Neptune Energy’s asset portfolio includes gas-focused assets in North Africa, Indonesia, western Europe and Australia.

Except for its operations in Germany and Norway, Neptune Energy will sell the entirety of its portfolio to Eni under the terms of the agreement.