By Sarah Kent

LONDON -- BP PLC has agreed to buy a 10% stake in Eni SpA's super-giant Zohr gas field offshore Egypt, expanding an already extensive footprint in the country.

The $375 million stake in the Shorouk concession will give BP access to one of the biggest gas discoveries in recent years. The Zohr field was discovered by Eni in 2015 and is thought to hold roughly 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The Italian oil company has said it will sell EUR7 billion in assets by 2019, largely through divestingstakes in recently discovered fields, to help it weather a dramatic crash in oil prices and to finance future developments.

Under the terms of the Egyptian deal, BP will retain the right to buy another 5% stake in the concession before the end of 2017. The British oil giant will also reimburse Eni for its share of past expenditure once the deal closes -- currently a sum of about $150 million.

"This interest in a truly world-scale asset will complement our existing Egyptian business," BP CEO Bob Dudley said in a press release. The company has highlighted its gas interests in Egypt as an attractive example of a region where it's been possible to fast-track the development of discoveries and quickly generate cash in a low-oil-price environment. First gas from Zohr is expected late next year.

The deal is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory approval.

Write to Sarah Kent at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 25, 2016 15:03 ET (20:03 GMT)

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