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RWE DEA, THE gas and oil exploration and production unit of German utility RWE, said Monday it will jointly invest US$9bn in the development of two offshore gas fields in Egypt with project operator BP.

The investment will be made for the development of the North Alexandria and West Mediterranean Deep Water concessions, which are located in the offshore region of West Nile Delta, some 40 km off the coast of Egypt, RWE Dea said in an emailed statement.

Production at the gas fields is expected to begin in 2014, RWE Dea said.

BP, the operator of the two projects, owns 60 per cent in the gas fields. RWE Dea holds 40 per cent of the shares in the gas fields.

RWE Dea said the total investment volume will be shared with BP according to the shareholdings of the two companies. It added that its share of US$3.6 bn marks the "biggest single investment in the history of RWE Dea."