Natural gas production has started from Raven, the third stage of the BP-operated $9 billion West Nile Delta (WND) development in the Mediterranean Sea offshore Egypt, the company said April 26.

“Completing this major multi-stage development in the face of many challenges is testament to bp’s long-term commitment to Egypt and our excellent working relationships with partners and the government,” BP CEO Bernard Looney said in a news release. “West Nile Delta will make an important contribution to meeting Egypt’s growing energy needs, by providing a cost-competitive and resilient gas supply from the country’s own resources.”

The startup is part of the three-phase development of five gas fields across the North Alexandria and West Mediterranean Deepwater offshore concession blocks in the Mediterranean Sea, BP said. The Taurus/Libra projects started production in 2017, while the Giza/Fayoum projects started up in 2019.

“Working together with the Ministry of Petroleum and our partners we can now explore the potential use of the West Nile Delta facilities for developing future infill and nearby exploration opportunities,” added Karim Alaa, BP’s regional president for North Africa.

Raven is producing about 600 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMscf/d) but is capable of producing at peak 900 MMscf/d and 30,000 barrels per day of condensate, according to BP.

“In total, the WND development includes 25 wells producing gas to the onshore processing plant via three long-distance subsea tiebacks,” BP said. “The onshore facilities – including the new Raven facility – now have a total gas processing capacity of around 1.4 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day. All gas produced is fed into Egypt’s national grid.”

Holding an 82.75% stake, BP serves as operator for the WND development. Its partner is Wintershall Dea, which has a 17.25% stake.