Egypt, Italy's Eni discuss preparations to pump investments into Gulf of Suez, Nile Delta

Ahram Online , Friday 4 Mar 2022

Egypt and Italy’s giant energy group Eni discussed on Friday preparations to pump new investments into Egypt’s Gulf of Suez and Nile Delta regions in accordance with an oil exploration deal signed between both sides in December.

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File photo: Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla (C) witnessing the signing of a exploration deal with Italy's energy giant Eni on 24 December 2021 (photo: the Egyptian Petroleum ministry)

This announcement came during a meeting between the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla and a delegation from Eni, according to a statement released by the ministry.

In December, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation signed an agreement with the Italian company for oil exploration and exploitation in the Gulf of Suez and Nile Delta regions worth $1 billion.

Friday's meeting tackled the Italian company’s activities in Egypt and its projects and investment programs as part of a plan outlined to boost the production levels of oil wells, added the statement.

El-Molla and Eni's delegation also addressed the development plans for a number of wells and the status of the company’s new concession areas it won as per the first Egyptian digital oil auction.

The auction, held in January by the state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company, resulted in awarding Eni and other companies eight oil exploration blocks to invest a minimum of $250 million and drill 33 wells in blocks within the Mediterranean, Western Desert, and the Gulf of Suez. 

Today's meeting also touched upon the latest developments in global oil prices and their impacts on investment opportunities, according to the statement.

The Egyptian minister revealed that the country’s petroleum sector is currently working with its foreign partners, including Eni, to prepare initiatives aiming at reducing emission levels at the petroleum sites and cooperating in clean energy and hydrogen projects.

The meeting was attended by Eni's Chief Operating Officer of Natural Resources Guido Brusco, Regional Manager for North Africa Antonio Panza and Deputy Chief Operating Officer of Natural Resources Cristian Signoretto.

Eni's Brusco hailed cooperation and partnership between the company and the Egyptian petroleum sector as "fruitful," saying "Eni considers Egypt as a key destination for its investments in North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea.”

"Both sides have a mutual desire to continue to promote cooperation and partnership in the coming years and to continue achieving new success stories," Brusco added.

In recent years, Eni has taken part in important oil discoveries in the country's the Western Desert as well as the operation of gas plants, as Egypt aims to become a regional energy hub.

Eni has been operating in Egypt through its subsidiary, the International Egyptian Oil Company (IEOC) Production BV, since 1954.

In 2015, the Italian energy giant discovered the giant Zohr gas field, the biggest-ever in the Mediterranean, off the Egyptian coast. Zohr is located within the Shorouk concession, nearly 190 km north of the city of Port Said. 

The discovery, which holds an estimated reservoir of 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, has drawn the interest of investors to the country’s energy sector.

It has also helped Egypt reach self-sufficiency in gas and pursue being a regional hub for gas exports.

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