Eni and partners have discovered natural gas at the Bashrush prospect offshore Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea, extending the gas potential of the Abu Madi Formation reservoirs, the Italian company said July 1.

The find marks their first exploration success in the North El Hammad license.

Located in a water depth of 22 m and about 12 km northwest of the Nooros Field, the discovery well hit a 152-m thick gas column in the Messinian age sandstones of the Abu Madi with excellent petrophysical properties, Eni said in a news release. Plans are to test the well for production with hopes to fast track production, using existing nearby infrastructure, after assessing development options.

“The discovery of Bashrush demonstrates the significant gas and condensate potential of the Messinian formations in this sector of the Egyptian Offshore shallow waters,” Eni said. “The discovery of Bashrush further extends to the west the gas potential of the Abu Madi formation reservoirs discovered and produced from the so-called ‘Great Nooros Area.’”

Eni said it will continue drilling in the area. Next up is exploration well Nidoco NW-1 DIR in the Abu Madi West concession.

Eni, through its affiliate IEOC, is the operator of the North El Hammad concession and holds 37.5% interest, while BP holds 37.5% and Total, 25%. The concession is held in participation with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co.