United Arab Emirates-based Dragon Oil has made its first oil discovery in the Gulf of Suez, the Egyptian petroleum ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The discovery is one of the largest in the area in the past 20 years, it said, adding that the field could contain around 100 million barrels in reserves.
In a statement from its headquarters in Dubai, Dragon Oil also estimated the field's reserves at 100 million barrels.
Egypt's Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said that there are about 45 to 50 million barrels that can be extracted, which could be done in less than a year.
"We will start talking immediately with our partners, Dragon Oil, about putting this discovery on a rapid development plan, so that in less than a year we can get this output quickly," El Molla said in an interview with Sky News Arabia.
(Reporting by Ahmed Ismail, writing by Maher Chmaytelli; editing by Jason Neely and David Evans)