Italian firm Eni (50%op) and partner BP (50%) have cut short a planned six-well development drilling program at the Baltim Southwest field off Egypt’s Nile Delta. Egypt’s oil ministry says the field’s 500mn cfd plateau target has been hit with just four wells drilled, but also mentions “reducing costs and rationalizing spending.” The latest well, Baltim Southwest-7, produced at 140mn cfd and 1,300 b/d of condensate, it says.

Whether the field will be allowed to produce at capacity remains to be seen. Cairo has been curtailing output: the latest data for February show production at a 19-month low, with the Nile Delta particularly impacted. As with Shell (MEES, 24 April) Eni has also been hit by Cairo’s decision to prevent the key producers from exporting LNG (MEES, 10 April). (CONTINUED - 263 WORDS)