Works on Zohr field on the Mediterranean - Photo courtesy of Eni website
CAIRO – 30 January 2018: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will inaugurate the giant Zohr gas field on Wednesday. It is one of the largest offshore gas fields discovered in the Mediterranean.
The quantities of gas extracted from Zohr gas field reached 17 percent since its operation, which means the quantities increased from 350 million cubic feet of gas to 400 million cubic feet of gas per day, according to a statement by Minister of Petroleum Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla.
“The increase will be one billion cubic feet of gas within the middle of this year,“ Molla underscored.
He pointed out that Egypt will achieve self-sufficiency of natural gas by the end of this year, and the total field production will rise by the end of 2019 to about 2.7 billion cubic feet of gas per day. Therefore, Zohr is likely to have a huge effect on Egypt’s energy sector.
In 2015, the Italian energy company Eni discovered Zohr gas field covers an area of 100 square meters with a depth of 1,450 meters.
Investing around $10 billion in the project, Eni estimates a total output of approximately 30 trillion cubic feet of gas. The new field will help secure energy needs of a country that consumes around 6 billion cubic feet of gas a day, with 65 percent of them going toward the electricity sector.
Molla explained that Eni and the Egyptian government will get 40 percent of the output to compensate for the production cost. Another 18 percent will be used by Eni to compensate for the capital they invested in the project, and “then Eni will also get 12 percent of the remaining stakes,” he said, noting that they have an agreement with Eni to decrease their shares of the revenues when the production goes up.
Zohr’s production will help the country’s offset burdens on its foreign currency, as the government is planning to stop importing liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Egypt heavily imports LNG, as in 2017 alone it signed contracts to import between 100 and 108 LNG shipments, including 43 to 45 cargoes in government-to-government contracts from Oman, Russia’s Rosneft PJSC and France’s Engie SA.
Egypt produces 5.1 billion cubic feet of gas daily after several fields have started production.