Egypt's giant gas field Zohr (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt's giant gas field Zohr, recently discovered by Italian oil company Eni, is expected to produce some 500 million square feet (46.5 million cubic meters) of gas by the end of this year, Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said on Tuesday.
Descalzi's remarks came at a meeting with Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail in Cairo, state news agency MENA reported.
The pair discussed work by Eni to develop the gas field as part of the company's Shorouk concession off Egypt's Mediterranean coast, including setting up infrastructure and deep and shallow water networks in cooperation with US-based oilfield services giant Schlumberger and Egypt's Petrojet.
Total output from the field by the end of Eni's project is estimated to reach 2.7 billion square feet (250.8 million cubic meters), Descalzi added.
The company's chief said that half of Eni's 2018 investment, amounting to $3.5 billion, will be pumped into Egypt.
Once an energy exporter, Egypt's domestic production has failed to keep pace with growing demand in recent years, forcing the country to resort to imports.
Zohr, discovered by Eni last year, holds an estimated 850 billion cubic meters of gas.
The field should help alleviate Egypt's severe energy shortage and save the country billions of dollars spent on imports.
In May, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said he expected that a number of recently discovered gas fields should save Egypt some $3.6 billion yearly.
During the talks on Tuesday, Prime Minister Ismail said that Cairo seeks to bolster cooperation with international oil giants and help Eni boost investment in the Mediterranean and Egypt's Western Desert.