BP's Egyptian subsidiary announced it made the discovery in its Salamat well while drilling in a water depth of 2,100 feet in the eastern Nile Delta. The company said it's the deepest well ever drilled in the region.
"With a hydrocarbon column in excess of 590 feet, the discovery increases our confidence ... in the East Nile Delta," Mike Daly, executive vice president of exploration for BP, said in a statement.
Daly said further appraisal will be required before BP can evaluate its options for developing the discovery at the Salamat well.
Some energy companies working in Egypt have scaled back their operations because of violence that followed the July 3 military takeover of the government.
The U.S. Energy Department said last month insecurity in Egypt and Syria, coupled with territorial disputes between Israel and Lebanon, could complicate export plans for the region's natural gas.
BP said it has a "long and successful track record" in the country.