The U.K.-based energy company BP has signed agreements worth $12 billion to develop a major gas field in Egypt, which has been trying to attract foreign investment after four years of unrest.

BP said in a statement Friday that the investment is "a vote of confidence in Egypt's investment climate."

The West Nile Delta project aims to produce 5 trillion cubic feet of gas and 55 million barrels of condensate. Production is expected to begin in 2017 and reach up to 1.2 billion cubic feet a day, or about 25 percent of Egypt's current production.

BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley says the project is his company's "largest foreign direct investment in Egypt."

The announcement comes days ahead of a major economic conference aimed at boosting foreign investment.