Egypt’s Sisi inaugurates first stage of giant Zohr natural gas field

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is set to inaugurate on Wednesday the first stage of super-giant Zohr gas field, bringing the country closer to achieving its goal of self-sufficiency in the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The inauguration comes nearly a month after experimental production began at the field at an initial 350 million cubic feet per day (mcfd), a test which had been planned shortly after the field’s discovery by Italian energy company Eni in 2015.

Located 180km (110 miles) off the coast of Port Said and 1,500m deep, the gigantic gas field is the largest in the Mediterranean Sea,

In press statements reported by Al-Ahram Daily, Egyptian petroleum minister Tarek El-Molla said that field production would rise to 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) by the end of 2019, transforming Egypt into a regional power hub.

Total reserves of the field are estimated at 30 trillion cubic feet, according to El-Molla.

Production will increase to 1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) by June 2018, marking the end of the first production stage and granting Egypt self-sufficiency in LNG supply.

The second stage is due to be finalised by the end of 2019 when production reaches 2.7 bcfd.

According to Al-Ahram daily newspaper, investments in the first and second stages are estimated at $15 billion.

Six wells are currently in use for production in stage one. That number is set rise to 20 wells by stage two, according to the minister.

Eni currently holds 60 percent stake in the Shourouk Concession, which includes the Zohr field. Russia’s Rosneft holds 30 percent, while British Petroleum (BP) holds ten.

The Italian company will take up 40 percent of the field’s output for the recovery of development and exploration costs.

Any excess production will be split between Egypt and Eni.

Egypt was a net exporter of LNG until 2014. However, the country became a net importer in recent years due to declining output and power shortages amid political turmoil.

In October, El-Molla announced that $27.3 million would be invested in three Egyptian natural gas fields – Zohr, North Alexandria, and Nooros – in the year 2018.

The three fields are expected to increase Egypt’s natural gas output by 50 percent in 2018 and 100 percent in 2020, according to the ministry.

Source: Ahram Online