Egypt's natural gas reserves reached 75 trillion cubic feet (TCF), while proven reserves have risen to 45 trillion cubic feet, the oil ministry said. Hamdi Abdelaziz, spokesman for Egypt's Oil Ministry said that during the past ten months Egypt has discovered an average of one TCF of natural gas monthly.
Abdelaziz said the natural gas reserves would increase because of several gas discoveries in the Western Desert. He said seven natural gas fields with total proven reserves of 9.7 TCF were found. The recent discoveries have increased Egypt's estimated fossil fuel reserves and have inspired ambitious plans for Egypt.
Egypt is now able to supply its own domestic energy needs for the next 25 years, and enter the regional gas export market. Egypt has signed an agreement with Turkey for an annual export of 4 billion cubic feet of natural gas by the year 2004.
The gas will be exported either in liquid form by tanker or through a proposed pipeline which would also serve Israel, Lebanon and Syria. To reduce prices, Egypt has negotiated oil price cuts with international companies.
Information Minister Safwat Sherif said international oil companies with natural gas concessions in Egypt have agreed to charge the government less for the oil. Following a cabinet meeting last week, Sherif said that the new pricing schedule - which came into effect in July - would save the government up to $250 million a year. Sherif did not say what the new price was.
Sherif said foreign gas companies had agreed to accept the Egyptian pound instead of the US dollar as the currency of sale. The move would help the pound in its decline against the dollar. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )