Minister of Petroleum Tarek El Molla said the ministry is working to begin production from the deep-water Zohr gas field in the Mediterranean before the end of this year according to the project’s timetable.
The ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the field, along with other gas fields discovered recently, will contribute positively to secure the local market’s needs of natural gas in various sectors and reduce gas imports.
Egypt seeks to reduce the gap between its production and consumption of natural gas, which currently amounts to about 800m cubic feet per day, with the aim to achieve self-sufficiency of natural gas by 2018.
Egypt consumes about 6bn cubic feet of gas per day while it produces 5.2bn cubic feet per day. Zohr’s production capacity is expected to reach about 500m cubic feet per day by the end of this year.
Molla said that his ministry is responsible for the drilling programmes of development wells, construction, and equipment for maritime work at the Zohr field, as well as the ground station that receives and processes the extracted gas.
It came during the minister’s visit to the Zohr field on Thursday to follow up the progress of the project.
In that context, Atef Hassan, head of Petrobel, said that the business progress in the project reached 81% until the end of July, and the total expenditure in the field amounted to $3.8bn.
On 30 August 2015, Italy’s Eni has discovered the Zohr natural gas field offshore located in the Shorouk Concession in the Egyptian sector of the Mediterranean Sea.