President Sisi meets with Minister of Petroleum Tarek al-Mulla -Press photo
CAIRO – 11 May 2017: The first phase of British Petroleum (BP)-operated Taurus/Libra gas fields will save Egypt $1 billion in gas imports. Phase one was inaugurated by President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Petroleum Ministry.
The project, known as the West Nile Delta (WND) project, involves the development of gas and gas condensate fields located within North Alexandria and the West Mediterranean Deepwater Concession, approximately 65-85km off the coast of Alexandria, according to the project’s official website.
“After phase one has gone into effect, Egypt will achieve $1billion annual savings and $1.8 billion after developing and operating phase two in 2019, depending on an average price of Brent at $50 per barrel,” said Minister of Petroleum, Tarek El-Molla during the inauguration.
BP is the operator of WND, holding a 60 percent stake in the North Alexandria concession and an 80 percent stake in the West Mediterranean Deepwater concession. The German company RWE DEA is the second partner in the project.
The project’s memorandum was signed in 2015 during the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC), specifying the operation of phase one in the last quarter of 2017 and the inauguration of phase two in 2019, El-Molla added.
“Reserves of the WND project are nearly 5 trillion cubic feet of gas and about 55 million barrels of condensates and the capacity of phase one is 700 million cubic feet per day,” the minister added.
Egypt has started to reap the fruits of investments injected into its oil sector during the last three years. One of these projects is Zohr Field, in the Shorouk concession area.
Zohr, discovered by Italian energy company Eni in August 2015, is the largest gas field in the Mediterranean with an estimated 850 billion cubic meters of gas.
Zohr will begin production next October with a capacity of about 350 million cubic feet per day, which will be doubled in December to 700 million cubic feet per day.
Egypt's domestic gas production is currently about 4.4 billion cubic feet per day versus consumption of around 5.2 billion cf/d, according to a statement from the Petroleum Ministry late March.
“Egypt will boost the production of natural gas to five billion cubic feet per day in the 2017/2018 fiscal year,” Molla told Reuters last October.
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said in previous remarks that the new fields’ production will reduce Egypt's imports of petroleum products from abroad, which amount to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day.
“In mid-2018, Egypt will import limited quantities of petroleum that could reach one or two shipments per month, while Egypt currently imports 12 consignments per month,” Ismail added.