BP's offshore oil platform seen off the coast of Egypt (Photo: Courtesy of BP Facebook page)
British oil company BP and Italy's Eni announced a "significant" gas discovery off the coast of Egypt on Thursday.
The new discovery in Baltim South West area is jointly owned by both companies, Eni said in a press release on Thursday.
The Baltim South West well is located 12 kilometres from the coast, 25 metres deep, and 10 kilometres north of the Nooros field.
"Baltim South West discovery further confirms the significant potential of the so called “Great Nooros Area”, which is now estimated to hold 70-80 billion cubic metres of gas in place," read Eni's statement.
"Our plan is to utilise existing infrastructure which will accelerate the development of the discovery, and expedite early production start-up," Hesham Mekawi, regional president of BP North Africa, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Egypt has turned into a net importer of natural gas from a net exporter in the past few years on the back of rising consumption and falling productions.
The country's energy sector, already experiencing an energy crunch since the summer of 2008, took a blow following the 2011 uprising as arrears to foreign oil firms accumulated and production slowed.