Largest Egyptian gas reserve discovered in the Mediterranean

Published August 31st, 2015 - 08:00 GMT

Italy's Eni has discovered gas reserves of up to 30 trillion cubic feet in the Zohr prospect in Egypt's Mediterranean, making it the biggest gas discovery ever in Egypt, the Egyptian petroleum ministry said on Sunday.

"Zohr is the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea and could become one of the world’s largest natural-gas finds," Eni said in a statement.

The discovery was made in the Shorouk block that was awarded to Eni in January 2014 following an international bid, Eni said.

The well 'Zohr' is located in the economic waters of Egypt’s Mediterranean, at the depth of 4,757 feet in the sea (1,450 metres), Eni added.

Zohr could hold a potential 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas in place (5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place) covering an area of about 100 square kilometres.

Eni, which is state-owned, has been operating in Egypt through its subsidiary IEOC Production B.V. since 1954 with a current daily production of 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

During Egypt's economic development conference in March the company signed heads of agreement with the Egyptian government worth $5 billion over a period of 4-5 years.

In July, Egypt and Eni signed an update to the head of agreement reached in March, following the discovery of gas reserves of up to 15 billion cubic metres in Egypt's Nile Delta region.

Egypt has been experiencing an energy crunch since the summer of 2008, but the energy sector took a blow following the 2011 uprising as arrears to foreign oil firms accumulated and production slowed.

The country garnered some $40 billion in energy deals during the development conference held in March as part of the government's plans to boost an economy battered by more than four years of political upheaval.

Italy is one of Egypt's largest trading partners with $6 billion worth of mutual trading value in the 2013/2014 fiscal year, Egyptian central bank data shows.

© Copyright Al-Ahram Publishing House

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