Vast Reserves of Natural Gas Found Off the Coast of Egypt

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Supergiant’ gas field found off Egyptian coast.

Announcement from Italian energy company says field may hold 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas; Egypt says parliamentary elections to take place in October.Italian energy giant Eni has announced on its website that it has found a “supergiant” gas field at their Zohr Prospect in the deep waters of Egypt in the Mediterranean, claiming it “could become one of the world’s largest natural-gas finds.” It added that this is “an important day” for the company, as well as for Italy and Egypt, as it could fuel Italy’s economic development and “will be able to ensure satisfying Egypt’s natural gas demand for decades.” “It’s a very important day for Eni and its people.

The discovery well is 190 kilometers (about 120 miles) from the Egyptian coast, and is at a depth of 1,450 meters ( 4,757 feet) in the Shorouk Block, the company said. He said “important synergies with the existing infrastructures can be exploited, allowing us a fast production startup.” Eni has been in Egypt since 1954 through its subsidiary IEOC. In June, Eni struck a $ 2 billion deal with the Egyptian oil ministry allowing it to carry out exploration in Sinai, the Gulf of Suez, the Mediterranean and areas in the Nile Delta. Egypt has been without a parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the democratically elected main chamber, reversing a major accomplishment of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The final investment decision, which is still to be made, could be taken later this year, while drilling could be initiated in 2016, with peak output reaching about 65-80 million cubic meters per day, the Financial Times reports, citing Claudio Descalzi.

Then military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who went on to become president, toppled Egypt’s first freely elected president, Islamist Mohamed Mursi, in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. The announcement of the discovery came a day after a Cairo meeting between the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi and Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi, according to the president’s office.

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