Italy's Eni signs 2 new gas exploration deals with Egypt

Ahram Online , Tuesday 27 Dec 2016

Italy's Eni makes mega gas discovery off Egyptian coast (Reuters)

Italy’s Eni, one of the leading global oil and gas companies, signed on Tuesday two new concession agreements with the Egyptian government for gas exploration in two fields of “North El-Hammad and North Ras El-Esh, located in the shallow waters of the Egyptian Mediterranean Sea,” according to the group’s website.

For the North El-Hammad block, Eni has a stake of 37.5 percent, while the remaining equities are owned by BP and Total, the Italian company said.

However, Eni has a 50 percent participation stake in the North Ras El-Esh block, which is operated by BP with an equity of 50 percent.

“They [the two new fields] strengthen Eni’s portfolio and positioning in Egypt, a country of historic and strategic importance, and further confirm the company’s commitment to pursue new exploration after the recent and important successes of Nooros, Zohr and Baltim South West, made in 2015 and in 2016,” the company said in its press release.

Eni has been operating in Egypt since 1954 through its subsidiary International Egyptian Oil Company (IEOC), with production of about 224.000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the end of 2016.

Egyptian petroleum minister Tarek El-Molla said in May that the country would see an increase in natural gas production to between 5.5 and 6 billion cubic feet per day (cfd) by the end of 2019, up from the current 3.9 billion cfd.

Egypt currently has 12 natural gas field development projects underway worth a total of $33 billion in investment, El-Molla said.

The three largest projects, which include the mammoth Mediterranean gas field Zohr discovered by Italy's Eni last year, are expected to collectively bring 4.6 billion cfd online by the start of 2019. 

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