The huge Zohr gas field offshore Egypt has increased its production six-fold since it started production in January this year, Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek el-Molla said on Thursday.
Production at Zohr in the Mediterranean has increased to 2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) from 350 million bcfd when it began commercial production in January 2018, Egyptian economic news outlet Amwal Al Ghad quoted the minister as saying.
Italy’s oil and gas major Eni—which discovered the field in 2015 when it said that it was the largest ever gas discovery in the Mediterranean—said last week that the Zohr field production of 2 bcfd is equivalent to approximately 365,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed). Eni and its partners aim to reach plateau production in excess of 2.7 bcfd in 2019, the Italian company says.
Following the start-up of the giant Zohr field, Egypt became an important player in the Mediterranean. Zohr plays a key role in helping Egypt to avoid the need to import liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to the Italian energy major.
In June, Egypt issued what is likely to be its last LNG import tender, and could begin exports early in 2019, Petroleum Minister El-Molla told Bloomberg at the time. The June tender was for Egypt’s third-quarter gas needs, and it might not need to import LNG for the fourth quarter and onwards, the minister said.
Egypt has received the backing of the World Bank in its efforts to be a regional oil and gas trading hub, as several new gas projects started up recently in the Mediterranean country.
Meanwhile, Eni, the Zohr operator and largest gas producer in Egypt, said at the end of last month that it had made an onshore gas discovery in Egypt’s Western Desert that could raise production in the Western Desert Basin.