Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has expressed hope for the expansion of activities by Italian energy company Eni in oil exploration and production, presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement following a meeting between El-Sisi and a delegation from the oil company in Cairo on Monday.
El-Sisi called for maximising Egypt's resources of gas and oil and making the best use of it in the development process, noting that Egypt is seeking to be a regional gas hub.
The meeting was attended by Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi, Eni Chief Operating Officer Natural Resources Alessandro Puliti, and Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla.
The president has ordered the petroleum ministry to promote cooperation with the Italian oil company and overcome any obstacles in this regard, and to hold to the pre-determined timeframes for development in the fields where Eni is operating.
During the meeting, Descalzi reviewed the latest developments regarding his company's exploration projects in Egypt, especially in the Mediterranean and Red seas and the Western Area.
Descalzi lauded Eni's fruitful partnership with the Egyptian government, especially with the "direct support" of the Egyptian president, according to Rady.
Eni has been operating in Egypt since 1954 through its subsidiary IEOC, and its current daily production is estimated at 280,000 barrels of oil equivalent.
The Italian company also discovered the giant Zohr gas field, the biggest in the Mediterranean, off the Egyptian coast in 2015.