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Image courtesy of Eni/Flickr.

Italy’s Eni said Monday it has made an “important” gas discovery at the Nooros exploration prospect in Egypt’s Nile Delta.

The discovery was encountered by the Nidoco NW2 Dir NFW well in the Abu Madi West license located about 74 miles northeast of Alexandria, Egypt.

The well reached a total depth of of 11,811 feet and encountered a 196 foot thick gas bearing sandstone interval of Messianian age with “excellent”petrophysical properties, further of other gas layers in the overlying Pliocene section,” Eni said.

Preliminary estimates place the size of of the discovery at about 15 billion cubic meters of gas in place with upside, plus associated condensates.

“This discovery is the result  of the new Eni’s strategy to re-focus its activity on near field and incremental exploration opportunities with high potential value, which allow in case of success their quick exploitation  through the already existing and synergic nearby infrastructures,” the company said.

Eni, through its subsidiary Ieoc Production BV, holds a 75 percent working interest in the West Abu Madi development lease.

BP holds a 25 percent stake in the lease.

Petrobel, a joint venture between Ieoc and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, operates the concession.

Eni has been present in Egypt since 1954 through its Ieoc subsidiary and is the main hydrocarbon producer in the country, with a daily equity production of 180,000 barrels of oil equivalent.