Atoll gas field is located in the North Damietta Concession offshore Egypt in the East Nile Delta. (Credit: gloriaurban4 from Pixabay)
On 12 February 2018, BP announced the start of gas production from the Atoll Phase One project. (Credit: ©BP/ Flickr)
The main reservoir of the Atoll gas field is estimated to contain 1.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas and 31 million barrels of condensates. (Credit: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement/ Flickr)

Atoll is a conventional gas field located in the North Damietta Concession offshore Egypt in the East Nile Delta. The field is owned by BP.

Discovered in March 2015, Atoll’s main reservoir is estimated to contain 1.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas and 31 million barrels of condensates. Additional segments are under evaluation.

In 2015, BP signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) with the Egyptian Government to accelerate the development of the Atoll gas discovery.

On 20 June 2016, BP and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) sanctioned the development of the Atoll Phase One project. It began gas production in February 2018.

The first phase entailed an investment of around $1bn.

BP’s joint venture Pharaonic Petroleum Co (PhPC) is the operator of the project.

Atoll gas field background

BP Egypt discovered the Atoll field in 2015 by drilling the Atoll-1 deepwater exploration well using the sixth generation semi-submersible rig Maersk Discoverer.

The Atoll drilling site was located 15km north of Salamat discovery, 80km north of the city of Damietta city, and 45km northwest of Temsah offshore facilities.

The exploration well was drilled to a depth of 6,400m and it encountered around 50m of gas pay in high-quality Oligocene sandstones.

Project details

The first phase of Atoll field included recompletion of the original well as a production well and drilling of two additional wells tied back to existing infrastructure.  The wells were drilled by the DS-6 rig.

The scope of work also included the installation of necessary subsea infrastructure and other facilities.

The production from the field is directed to the existing onshore West Harbor gas processing plant.

According to BP, Atoll Phase One was delivered seven months ahead of schedule. The cost of the first phase was also 33% below the initial estimate.

In February 2018, the project had a production of 350 million cubic feet of gas a day (mmscfd) and 10,000 barrels a day (bpd) of condensate. The gas production is transported to the Egypt’s national grid to meet domestic requirements.

Contractors involved

Maersk Discoverer sixth-generation semisubmersible rig drilled the Atoll-1 well in 234 days. The well reached 6,400m deep making it one of the longest wells drilled in the Mediterranean Sea and the deepest in Egypt.

The other Atoll wells were drilled by the ultra-deepwater drillship ENSCO DS-6.

In October 2016, Subsea 7 was awarded the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract by Pharaonic Petroleum for providing the subsea pipelines and associated structures for the project.

Subsea 7 vessels such as Seven Borealis, Seven Eagle, and Seven Arctic were deployed for the works.

Pharaonic Petroleum Company also contracted Enppi for Atoll development project. The scope of work included installation of new equipment and the modification of the existing facilities to accommodate additional production.

The project scope also included the laying of a new 6km-long 6 inch pipeline to deliver the separated condensate from West Harbor plant to El Gamil plant.

In July 2022, CGG was engaged by BP and its JV Partner Pharaonic Petroleum Co for the 3D seismic imaging of the Nile delta OBN survey covering the Atoll and Atoll North fields. The work will improve field development planning and near-field exploration.

BP in Egypt

BP has been present in Egypt for nearly 60 years. Over the period, the company has invested more than $35bn.

According to BP, the company’s JV Pharaonic Petroleum Company (PhPC) and Petrobel (IEOC JV) in the East Nile ‎Delta and West Nile Delta (WND) gas development deliver around 60% of Egypt’s gas.

BP is also present in Egypt’s downstream sector and forayed into solar power through JV Lightsource bp.