The discovery of the offshore Zohr gas field by the Italian energy company Eni in 2015 was a game changer for Egypt’s oil and gas industry, which is set for unprecedented growth and investment over the coming years.
Covering 100 square kilometers, making it the largest field ever discovered in the Mediterranean, Zohr came on stream last December and, according to Eni, is currently producing 2 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd). And the company expects that figure to increase to 2.9 bcfd by 2019.
“The latest achievement reinforces the exceptional development path of the Zohr project, one of Eni’s seven record-breaking projects, which is playing a fundamental role in supporting Egypt’s independence from LNG imports,” stated a report by Eni.
With 850 billion meters cubed of potential gas resources, Zohr has the potential to provide energy security for the Mediterranean region, making Egypt a net energy exporter once again and removing its dependence on imports – the impact of which will be profoundly felt throughout the country’s economy and on its public finances.
It is no wonder than that foreign direct investment (FDI) is being pumped into Egypt, which, aside from Zohr, has a number of other recently discovered smaller fields in the Mediterranean. FDI in Egypt’s oil and gas sector reached $10 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2017/18, up from $8.1 billion of foreign investment in FY 2016/17. And according to the Minister of Petroleum Tarek El Molla, it will see a further $10 billion investments in exploration and production during FY 2018/19, as the ministry continues to enhance the business climate and modernize the oil and gas sector, in a bid to encourage more IOCs to join promising uptick in activity in the Mediterranean deep water fields.