CAIRO – 18 January 2018: The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) signed a contract Thursday to manage the cash receipts in foreign currency from the giant offshore Zohr gas field in the Mediterranean through accounts in the bank.
This came during a ceremony that was attended by NBE’s chairman Hisham Okasha, Chief Executive Officer of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) Abed Ezz el-Regal, Petroleum Minister Tarek el-Molla, in addition to the participation of Italy’s ENI, British Petroleum and Russian energy company Rosneft.
The move comes in light of the bank’s efforts to support Egypt’s petroleum sector and the trust of local and international companies in the NBE.
Eni in December delivered the first gas from Zohr field, which was discovered by the Italian energy company in 2015. The field is expected to save Egypt some $1 billion annually in gas imports.
Molla said in late December that the first phase of the field would be finalized in June 2018, when production will hit more than 1 billion cubic feet a day.
The field has an area of 100 square meters at a depth of 1,450 meters. Investing around $10 billion in the project; Eni is estimating total output of the field to be approximately 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Egypt produces 5.1 billion cubic feet of gas daily after several fields have started production. The country consumes around six billion cubic feet of gas a day, 65 percent of which go to the electricity sector.