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Italy’s Eni finds biggest Mediterranean gas field off Egypt coast

30 August 2015 22:37


Italy’s major oil and gas group, Eni, says it has found a new gas field off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast which can be potentially one of the world’s biggest natural gas fields.

The company issued a statement on Sunday saying that the newly discovered gas field is large enough to help Egypt meet its natural gas needs for decades to come.

“According to the well and geophysical data available, the field could hold a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet (850 billion cubic meters) of lean gas in place,” the statement added.

The company stated that the well that led to the discovery of the gas field, which has come to be known as Zohr field, was drilled off Egypt’s Mediterranean coastline at a depth of 1,450 meters (4,757 ft) in the Shorouk Block.

According to early estimates, the gas field covers an area of about 100 square kilometres (60 square miles).

“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 its statement.

The discovery followed previous major gas discoveries in the Mediterranean during recent years.

At present, Italy’s Eni is the biggest foreign company producing energy in Africa. The company has been operating in Egypt for more than 60 years through its Egyptian subsidiary, IEOC, which is one of the main energy producers in Egypt yielding a daily output of 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

Eni concluded an energy exploration contract with Egypt’s Oil Ministry in June. The contract, which is worth USD 2 billion, came after the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding during an investment conference in March. The memorandum made way for the Italian company to explore hydrocarbon resources in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Suez, the Mediterranean basin, and certain areas in the Nile Delta region.

“This historic discovery will be able to transform the energy scenario of Egypt in which we have been welcomed for over 60 years,” said Claudio Descalzi, who took over as Eni’s CEO last year, after a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Saturday.

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