ABN - The largest offshore natural gas field in the Mediterranean, Egypt’s Zohr field, has started production, bringing the country closer to its goal of being energy self-sufficient.
The giant gas field is operated by Italian energy firm Eni, which owns 60% of the field along with Russia’s Rosneft (30%) and BP (10%).
Egypt’s oil minister Tarek El-Molla revealed that gas from Zohr is pumped to a facility in Port Said city and delivered to the national distribution network, with an initial production of 350 million cubic feet per day.
Daily output is set to further rise to about 1 billion cubic feet in June and 2.7 billion by the end of 2019, added El-Molla. The field holds a potential of 850 billion cubic metres of gas across the acreage.
The oil minister said the inauguration of the colossal gas field should help Egypt achieve “self-sufficiency of natural gas, ease the burden on the state budget and cut the imports bill."
The North African nation is aiming to transition from LNG importer to gas exporter, after being forced to give up exports in 2014 in order to meet local demand.
However, the Zohr field promises to close the gap between supply and demand and help the Arab country achieve energy self-sufficiency.