Italian major Eni has begun gas production at the offshore Baltim South West gas field in Egypt at an initial rate of 100 million standard cubic feet per day, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
The field has gone on-stream in a record time, just 19 months after its discovery by Eni in June 2016 and "will further contribute to Egypt's natural gas export capacity," according to the statement.
The field is located in shallow waters 12 kilometres off the Mediterranean coast of Egypt in the Baltim South development lease. It lies 10km from the Nooros field, but still within the Great Nooros area.
The development program foresees the drilling of further five wells with the objective of achieving a production target of 500 million scf/d by the second quarter of 2020, according to the statement.
The overall gas potential from the Great Nooros Area is approximately 3 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in place, of which about 2 tcf are in the Nooros field and the remainder in Baltim South West, said the statement.
Eni, through its subsidiary IEOC, has a 50% interest in Baltim South West, while BP holds the remaining 50% interest of the contractor's stake in the development lease.
The project is executed by Petrobel, the Operating Company jointly held by Eni and the state corporation Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) on behalf of Medgas, jointly held by contractor (Eni and BP) and EGPC.
Eni has been present in Egypt since 1954, where it is the main producer with approximately 380,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in equity.
Such production is expected to further grow within the year, thanks to the ramp-up of the colossal Zohr gas field and progressive ramp-up of Baltim SW field.
Eni last month increased production at Zohr to 2.7 Bcf/d (76 million cu m/d), five months ahead of schedule.
Zohr's output could now rise to 3.2 Bcf/d by the end of the year - over half Egypt current gas demand - helping Egypt become self-sufficient in gas and to resume regular LNG exports.