Egypt inches closer to energy independence as Zohr gas field opens

Produzione

Egypt’s massive Zohr natural gas field began production in December 2017, bringing the country closer to its goal of energy independence. Discovered in 2015, the offshore gas field is billed as the largest in the Mediterranean and is operated by Italy’s Eni SpA.

Gas from Zohr is now being pumped to a facility in Port Said city, where it will be prepared for delivery to the national distribution network, with initial production of 350 million cubic feet per day, said Tarek El-Molla, Egypt’s Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources, in a statement regarding the launch. According to El-Molla, daily output from Zohr is expected to rise to 2.7 billion by the end of 2019.

Zohr gas field is expected to have a major impact on the economy of Egypt, which in recent years have relied increasingly on importing gas to meet domestic energy demands.

“[Zohr] will boost gas production to the extent that Egypt won’t need to import gas anymore,” said Mohamed Abu Basha, Director and Head of Macroeconomic Analysis for EFG Hermes.

That will help the Arab world’s most populous nation in its efforts to achieve “self-sufficiency of natural gas, ease the burden on the state budget and cut the imports bill,” said El-Molla at a conference in Cairo that focused on the challenges faced by the country in areas of oil and gas and future prospects.

In terms of reducing liquefied natural gas imports, Zohr is expected to save Egypt around $2 billion, providing sizable savings to its external balance, says EFG Hermes’ Abu Basha. Together with other gas fields, he says Zohr will boost gas production by up to 60% in the coming 12-18 months, providing much needed energy resources at relatively cheap prices. “It’s a boost to economic growth and to the industrial sector,” says Abu Basha.

(Source: Forbes Middle East)

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