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Image courtesy of Eni.

Italy’s Eni discovered oil and gas pay zones Thursday in the West Melehia deep exploration prospect in Egypt’s Western Desert.

The Melehia West Deep 1X exploration well, located in the Melehia licence, was drilled to a depth of 13,697 feet and encountered a 65 foot net mineralized accumulation of light oil in the Lower Cretaceous age of the Alam El Bueib formation.

The well also encountered a “significant” mineralized accumulation of gas and condensates in the Upper Jurassic age in the Safa formation.

Melehia West Deep 1X began production with an initial flow of 2,100 barrels of oil per day intended for the Melehia field infrastructure treatment facility.

The discovery will be rapidly followed by the drilling of other delineation and development wells that should result in an estimated production of about 8,000 barrels per day by the end of 2015.

The Melehia West Deep 1X results show “the significant potential for exploration available in the deep sequence of Melehia’s licence, increased by new three-dimensional seismic imaging technology,” Eni said.

Eni, through its subsidiary International Egyptian Oil Company (IEOC), holds a 76 percent stake in Melehia licence.

Russia’s Lukoil holds a 24 percent stake.

The licence is operated by Egypt-based Agiba Petroleum, a 50-50 joint venture between IEOC and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation.

Eni currently produces more than 60,000 barrels per day in five different Egypt development licences, all operated by Agiba.