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The UK’s BP and Italian firm Eni are both planning to fast-track their recent mega offshore gas projects, with BP looking set to win the race by bringing its $12bn, 5 tcf West Nile Delta (WND) project online in early-2017.
Not too far behind, Eni is hoping to have its 30 tcf Zohr discovery online by early-2018 as both firms look to tie-in their discoveries to already existing infrastructure. Absent major delays gas-thirsty Egypt will again be energy independent by the turn of the decade.
While Zohr was only discovered in August, the BP-led WND project (BP 82.75%, Germany’s Dea 17.25%) has been on the drawing board since 2010. But WND was finally sanctioned in March of this year after BP revised its development plan to piggy-back on existing BG infrastructure, cutting costs and shortening the time to first gas in the process. Oil Minister Tariq al-Mulla says he expects first WND output in early 2017 as opposed to the original mid-2017 estimate. Initial output will be 450mn cfd rising to 600mn cfd at end-2017 and 1.2bn cfd plateau output by end-2019, he says.
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