Italy's Eni announces oil discovery in Egypt's Western Desert

Ahram Online , Monday 9 Jul 2018

Zohr Gas field of Egypt (Photo: Reuters)

Italian oil giant Eni announced a second oil discovery in Egypt’s Western Desert on Monday, some 130 km north of the Siwa oasis, a statement by Eni reads.

In an official statement, Eni said the discovery was made on the B1-X exploration prospect located in the South West Meleiha Concession.

According to the statement, the well is the second to be drilled by Eni in an exploration of the deep geological sequences of the Faghur Basin. The second well was drilled 7 km away from the first discovery (SWM A2-X), to a total depth of 4,523 meters and encountered 35 meters net of light oil in the Paleozoic sandstones of the Dessouky Formation from the Carboniferous age and in the Alam El-Bueib sandstones of the Cretaceous Age.

“The discovery on B-1X confirms the high exploration and production potential of the deep geological sequences of the Faghur Basin,” Eni said.

It said its near-term plans include the drilling of other exploratory prospects located nearby the A2-X and B-1X discoveries to consolidate what could result in becoming a new productive area for Eni in Egypt.

Eni, through its subsidiary International Egyptian Oil Company (IEOC), holds a 100 percent stake in the South West Meleiha Concession. IEOC through its Operating Company Agiba, which is equally held by IEOC and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), currently produces the equivalent of 55,000 barrels of oil per day from the Egyptian Western Desert.

Present in Egypt since 1954, Eni is the main producer with the equivalent of approximately 300,000 barrels of oil per day equity.

Such production is expected to further grow within the year, thanks to the ramp-up of the Mediterranean Zohr natural gas field.

The Italian energy company said last week that it has so far invested US$8.4 billion in Egypt's offshore Nooros and Zohr gas fields and is planning to make $3 billion worth of new investments in the near future.

Eni has allocated 70 percent of its global investment in Egypt, Descalzi was quoted by the statement as saying.

During the talks, the two officials discussed the progress of work at the two fields, including mammoth gas field Zohr, discovered in 2015.

Egypt seeks to speed up production from recently discovered fields, with the aim of halting gas imports by 2019 and achieving self-sufficiency.

The giant Zohr offshore gas field in the Mediterranean contains an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea,

The field started production in late 2017, with an initial production of 350 million cubic feet per day. ElMolla said last week that Egypt aims to increase production at the field to 1.75 billion cubic feet per day in August. 

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