A long-running wildcat drilled by Eni offshore Egypt has turned out to be a disappointment, according to well-placed sources.

The Thuraya-1 probe took almost five months to drill and was targeting a potential 11 trillion cubic foot reef structure close to Egypt’s maritime boundaries with Palestine and Israel.

Eni moved fast to drill a wildcat targeting the prospect on the North East El Arish Offshore block after securing the acreage last year.

The drillship Saipem 10000 spudded the Thuraya-1 exploration well on 23 November in a water depth of about 953 metres, and is thought to have drilled unusually deep, to more than 6000 metres, aiming for a Cretaceous objective.