New development partners for Egypt’s mega gas find will be announced this year, according to Italy’s Eni.
The company said that it had received interested from “several companies” to help develop the Zohr discovery, which is one of the largest gas finds in the Mediterranean.
Fuad Krekshi, Eni executive vice president of the Middle East, said that the priority right now was to finalise the development plan to submit to the Egyptian government, but that operational partners would be announced this year. “Several companies have expressed interest, but we have not committed to anyone,” he said declining to discuss in more detail.
The Zohr discovery has an estimated 850 billion cubic metres – or 5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place – a potentially massive boost for a country that faces a natural gas deficit. Eni said that it expects the first gas to come online at the end of next year or early-2018.
This is of huge significance for a country that currently produces 43 billion cubic metres annually, according to Khaled Abubakr, chairman of the Egyptian Gas Association.
“We are optimistic because the Zohr was the first discovery out of 56 concessions that were awarded [last year],” he said adding that while the country currently imports gas, that could very well change with more discoveries anticipated on the horizon.
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