BP has commenced production of gas from Raven field, the third stage of its $9bn West Nile Delta development (WND development) in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Egypt.

Under the WND development, the company has been developing five gas fields, which span the North Alexandria and West Mediterranean Deepwater concession blocks.

BP, which has an operating stake of 82.75% in the offshore project, is partnered by Wintershall Dea (17.25%).

Currently, the Raven field is producing nearly 600 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscf/d). At its peak, the offshore field can potentially produce 900mmscf/d along with 30,000 barrels per day of condensate.

BP chief executive Bernard Looney said: “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.

“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.”

Production at Raven follows the start of gas production from the second stage of the WND project in early 2019 through the Giza and Fayoum fields.

The first stage of the project, which involved the development of the Taurus and Libra fields, was commissioned in 2017.

The onshore facilities for the WND development, which includes the new Raven facility, have a total gas processing capacity of nearly 1.4 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day (bcf/d).

Overall, the WND development has 25 wells that produce gas which is transported to the onshore processing plants via three long-distance subsea tie-backs.

BP North Africa regional president Karim Alaa said: “The safe start-up of Raven in an extremely difficult period would not have been possible without commitment and close co-operation from the team.

“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.”