BP Egypt has made a second gas discovery in the North Damietta offshore concession in the east Nile Delta.

The Atoll-1 deepwater exploration well has reached a depth of 6,400m and has penetrated approximately 50m of gas pay in Oligocene sandstones.

The sixth generation semi-submersible rig Maersk Discoverer is being used to drill the well. The company expects to delve a further 1km.

"The Atoll discovery is a great outcome for our second well in this core exploration programme in the East Nile Delta."

BP North Africa regional president Hesham Mekawi said: "The Atoll discovery is a great outcome for our second well in this core exploration programme in the East Nile Delta.

"It demonstrates BP’s continuous efforts to help in meeting Egypt’s energy demands by exploring the potential in the offshore Nile Delta."

The North Damietta offshore concession is estimated to contain five trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

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BP is working to meet Egypt’s domestic market growth by exploring the Nile Delta and investing to add production from existing discoveries.

The company expects to invest aound $12bn with its Egyptian partners as part of a finalised West Nile Delta (WND) concession agreement to develop five trillion cubic feet of gas resources, and 55 million barrels of condensates.

In Egypt, BP is engaged primarily in oil and gas exploration and production. The company currently produces approximately 15% of the country’s entire oil production and close to 30% of gas production.