BP Makes Huge Find in Gulf of Suez

BP Egypt announced the largest oil discovery in the Gulf of Suez in 14 years. The Saqqara well has estimated reserves of 80 million barrels. Saqqara is located on the LL87 exploration license approximately 7 kilometers west of BP/Gupco's El Morgan field facilities and 2 kilometers west of the 2001 Edfu Nubia discovery. BP said annual average plateau flow rates were likely to be between 40,000 and 50,000 barrels per day.

"Besides being the biggest discovery in the entire Gulf of Suez area in 14 years, the Saqqara discovery is significant because it penetrated the Nubia Reservoir at the deepest OWC (oil water contact) ever recorded in the Gulf," BP Egypt President Hesham Mekawi said.

BP is a long-established player in the Egyptian energy market. With its partners, it currently accounts for about one fifth of gas output, and through GUPCO, BP's joint venture with state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Co, it pumps about one-third of the country's oil production.

Oil output in Egypt, a mature producer, has declined in recent years to about 630,000 barrels per day (bpd) at the end of 2002 from around 900,000 bpd in the mid-1990s. BP has confirmed its Saqqara well in Egypt as a discovery. Hesham Mekawi, president and general manager of BP Egypt, described the find as "the biggest discovery in the entire Gulf of Suez area in 14 years."