Italy's Eni has discovered gas reserves of up to 15 billion cubic metres in Egypt's Nile Delta region, with production set to start in two months, the Egyptian oil ministry said on Monday.
The discovery was made in Western Abu Madi, 120 km northeast of Alexandria, where Eni holds 75 percent of exploration rights through an Egyptian subsidiary, with Britain's BP holding a 25 percent stake.
Eni made the discovery at a depth of 3,600 metres and initial estimates point towards reserves of up to 15 billion cubic metres of natural gas and natural gas condensate, an Egyptian oil ministry statement quoted the company as saying.
The oil ministry signed a $2 billion energy exploration deal with Eni in June.
Egypt raised the prices it pays Eni and Edison for the natural gas they produce in the country in July.
The agreements marked an attempt by Egyptian authorities to improve terms for foreign oil and gas businesses in the hope that more competitive pricing will encourage investment in the energy-hungry country.
Eni has operated in Egypt for more than 60 years through its Egyptian subsidiary IEOC and is one of the main energy producers in the country, with a daily output of around 180 thousand barrels of oil equivalent.