Egypt approves BP purchase of 25 percent of Nour gas concession

FILE PHOTO: A BP logo is seen on a petrol station in London November 2, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File Photo

CAIRO (Reuters) - BP BP.L and UAE-based Mubadala Investment Co are to buy stakes in the Nour deepwater gas concession off the northern coast of Sinai, following approval by Egypt's petroleum ministry on Sunday.

Nour lies near the Zohr gas field, which was declared the biggest in the Mediterranean when it was discovered in 2015. Zohr is estimated to hold about 30 trillion cubic feet of gas and has raised interest in gas exploration in Egypt.

BP will buy 25 percent and Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala 20 percent of the Nour concession from Italian energy company Eni ENI.MI, the petroleum ministry said in a statement.

Eni, which had held 85 percent of the concession through a subsidiary, will now hold 40 percent. Egypt’s state-controlled Tharwa Petroleum Company holds the remaining 15 percent.

Eni and Tharwa were originally due to start drilling the first exploratory oil well at Nour in late September.

Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg/Patrick Werr/Jane Merriman