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    BP Starts up Egyptian Atoll Early


UK major BP has begun gas production from the Atoll Phase One project, offshore Egypt, seven months earlier and a third cheaper than originally estimated.

by: William Powell

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Africa, Corporate, Exploration & Production, News By Country, Egypt

BP Starts up Egyptian Atoll Early

UK major BP has begun gas production from the Atoll Phase One project, offshore Egypt, seven months earlier and one-third cheaper than originally estimated, it said February 12.

The project is now producing 350mn ft³/day of gas and 10,000 barrels/d of condensate. Gas production from the field is directed to Egypt’s national grid.

Atoll is the first new project to come into production for BP in 2018 and is part of the 5 trillion ft³ (141.6bn m3) West Nile Delta development. It follows the 13 projects that started up world-wide through 2016 and 2017. These will provide more than 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day of new net production capacity and total net production from BP’s new projects is now expected to be 900,000 boe/d by 2021. 

Among them is the giant, Eni-operated Egyptian Zohr field, where BP has 10% for which it paid the Italian producer $375mn plus the share of previous field investment costs; it declined to exercise its option to buy another 5%.

CEO Bob Dudley said: “The longstanding partnerships we have in Egypt allowed us to fast-track Atoll’s development and deliver first gas only 33 months after discovery. This is a further demonstration of our commitment to help realise Egypt’s oil and gas potential and meet the increasing demand from its growing population.”  The main reservoir has an estimated 1.5 trillion ft³ of gas and 31mn barrels of condensates and further segments are under evaluation. 

BP’s North Africa head Hesham Mekawi said: “Atoll is our first major project in Egypt to be delivered in 2018, following the West Nile Delta Taurus and Libra project and then Zohr last year. We are extremely proud of Atoll’s efficient execution through our joint venture, the Pharaonic Petroleum Company. Delivering this project at such an unprecedented pace, less than two years after sanction, and with an impeccable safety record is a tremendous achievement.”

BP produces close to half of Egypt's total gas demand through its joint ventures the Pharaonic Petroleum Company (PhPC) and Petrobel with state firms EGPC and EGAS and partners. 

BP operates the West Nile Delta (WND) project where production is expected to potentially reach 1.3bn ft³/day once all development phases are complete, or about a quarter of Egypt’s current gas output. Hamburg-based Dea, BP's junior partner at WND, announced February 12 its own plans to invest $500mn in WND and two other Egyptian upstream ventures over the next three years. 

The UK major also announced February 12 that the governments of Senegal and Mauritania in west Africa had agreed to unitise the cross-border Tortue gas  field, paving the way for the floating LNG development.