BP strikes deals for Zohr field, North Sea interests

BP PLC will gain a stake in the supergiant Zohr natural gas field offshore Egypt and has taken interests two North Sea exploration prospects.

BP has agreed to buy 10% interest in the Shorouk concession offshore Egypt from Eni SPA for $375 million. On closing, BP also will reimburse Eni for BP’s share of past expenditure. As part of the deal, BP has an option before yearend 2017 to acquire another 5% interest in the concession under the same terms.

Zohr field was discovered by Eni in August 2015, and six wells have so far been drilled on the field. Eni estimates the field has total gas resources in place at 30 tcf. The first phase of development is being fast-tracked, with production startup expected in late 2017.

Eni is the operator and currently has 100% interest in the Shorouk concession. The purchase, which is subject to approvals by Egyptian authorities, is expected to close in second-quarter 2017.

“BP has now been in Egypt for over 50 years and we continue to see opportunities to further develop our extensive activities here,” said Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive. “Beyond Zohr, the first phase of our major West Nile Delta project is on schedule to begin production next year and the fast-tracked development of the Atoll gas field is expected to come on stream in 2018.”

BP has separately acquired 25% interest in the Statoil ASA-operated P2275 and P2097 licenses to the east of Shetland, including the Jock Scott prospect, and 40% interest in the nearby P2163 and P2147 licenses. Statoil will remain the operator of each license. The firms are planning to drill an exploration well on Jock Scott in mid-2017.

In the west of Shetland, BP has acquired 40% interest in the north and 30% interest in the south of the Nexen Energy ULC-operated P2062 license, which includes the Craster prospect. Nexen will remain the operator of the license. The firms are also planning to drill an exploration well on Craster in mid-2017.

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