The Italian petroleum and gas gigant ENI has discovered gas reserves of up to 30 trillion cubic feet in the Egyptian part of the Mediterranean, making it the biggest gas discovery ever in the country, the Egyptian petroleum ministry said on Sunday. The newly-discovered well 'Zohr' holds a potential 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas (5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent ) covering an area of about 100 square kilometres, according to a statement by ENI."Zohr is the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea and could become one of the world’s largest natural-gas finds," ENI said in a statement.
The discovery was made in the Shorouk block that was awarded to ENI in January 2014 following an international bid, ENI said.
The well is located at a depth of 1,450 metres. Production of the new discovery should commence within 30-36 months, according to Abdel-Aziz. He added that the government expects to reach "self-sufficiency" within
five years with the help of Eni's discovery, in addition to more
Egypt has turned into a net importer of natural gas from a net exporter
in the past few years on the back of rising consumption and falling
productions. The country's energy sector, already experiencing an energy crunch
since the summer of 2008, took a blow following the 2011 uprising as
arrears to foreign oil firms accumulated and production slowed. The new discovery means that Egypt would not need to import gas for at
least 10 years, Caudio Descalzi, CEO of ENI, told the Financial Times. "Egypt can rely on this discovery for the next decade. They have found a
very important supply for the future," he said, adding that the field
could hold up to 40 trillion cubic feet of gas and oil.
During the economic development conference in March ENI signed heads of agreement with the Egyptian government worth $5 billion
over a period of 4-5 years. In July, Egypt and Eni signed an update to agreement, following the discovery of gas reserves of up to 15
billion cubic metres in Egypt's Nile Delta region.