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Image courtesy of BP/Flickr.

BP said Monday it discovered a second gas pay zone at the North Damietta Offshore Concession in Egypt’s East Nile Delta.

The Atoll-1 deepwater exploration well, currently being drilled by the semi-submersible Maersk Discoverer, has reached a depth of 20,997 feet and encountered a 164 feet of gas pay in “high quality” Oligocene sandstones.

Atoll-1 was drilled in water depths of 3,028 feet about 49 miles north of Damietta city.

BP holds a 100 percent equity stake in the discovery.

The well is expected to be the deepest well ever drilled in Egypt.

Atoll-1 will be drilled another 3,271 feet to test the same reservoir section found to be gas bearing in BP’s significant 2013 Salamat discovery, 9.3 miles to the south.

Atoll-1 is the second significant discovery in the licence after Salamat.

The  North Damietta Offshore Concession holds estimated reserves of over 5 trillion cubic feet.

“The Atoll discovery is a great outcome for our second well in this core exploration program in the East Nile Delta,” BP North Africa regional president Hesham Mekawi said.