Eni CEO says open to selling stake in Egypt mega gas find

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Eni makes big gas find in Mediterranean Sea.

ROME — The Italian energy company Eni announced yesterday (Aug 30) it has discovered a “supergiant” natural gas field off Egypt, describing it as the “largest-ever” found in the Mediterranean Sea. Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi, third left, and his delegation meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, and an Egyptian delegation, in Cairo, Egypt. The deep-water deposit in the Zohr Prospect in the Shorouk block may hold 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, equivalent to 5.5 billion barrels of oil, Eni said in an e-mailed statement Sunday.

Egypt’s petroleum ministry confirmed the discovery in a separate statement. “Egypt has still great potential,” Claudio Descalzi, the company’s chief executive officer, said in the statement. “This historic discovery” will transform the energy industry in Egypt, he said. Descalzi said that the discovery reconfirmed that Egypt still has “great potential” in terms of energy production. “Important synergies with the existing infrastructures can be exploited, allowing us a fast production start-up,” he said. Egypt’s energy demand is rising as the Arab world’s largest population grows, making the country more reliant on imports provided by Persian Gulf states. The latest discovery will contribute to Egyptian supply for decades, Eni said. “A find of this size should be enough to cover a lot of Egypt’s energy gap,” Robin Mills, a Dubai-based analyst at Manaar Energy Consulting, said by phone Sunday. “They’ll likely have to meet domestic needs first, before any export plans are discussed.

This will also put a damper on Israeli plans to export gas to Egypt.” Eni will likely sell most of the fuel into Egypt’s domestic market, said a spokesman, asking not to be identified citing company policy. The Rome-based company already produces gas in Egypt and is a partner in a venture operating a gas liquefaction terminal at Damietta on the Mediterranean coast.

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