Natural gas well discovered off Egypt's Mediterranean coast: Minister

Amr Kandil , Wednesday 7 Dec 2022

US energy corporation Chevron has discovered a new natural gas well, which has been dubbed Narges-1X, off the Mediterranean coast in Egypt, Italy's news agency Nova quoted Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla as saying on Wednesday.

Egypt's capital, Cairo, hosts the 8th ministerial meeting of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), 7 December 2022. Egyptian Cabinet


El-Molla made the remarks during the eighth ministerial meeting of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) held in the forum's headquarters in Cairo.

Chevron and Italian energy giant Eni hold a 45 percent stake each in the well, while the Egyptian Tharwa Petroleum company holds a 10 percent stake, according to the agency.

The new gas well is located off the Sinai Peninsula and was drilled by Stena Forth, a drillship owned by UK-based Stena Drilling, the agency reported.

Narges-1X holds 3.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, weekly newsletter MEES quoted a source as saying last week.

During the meeting today, El-Molla said Egypt's Ministry of Petroleum and Chevron will officially announce the discovery soon.

Chevron and Eni have been among Egypt’s main energy partners in recent years.

In 2015, Eni helped Egypt discover the Zohr natural gas field in its Mediterranean waters, catapulting the country to becoming a major producer of the alternative energy source.

In June, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and Chevron signed an MoU on the transport, import, liquefication, and export of gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Egypt.

Egypt is a major exporter of natural gas and has been working to increase its gas exports to obtain foreign currency in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, which has put pressure on the local Egyptian currency.

Egypt exported 4.7 billion cubic metres (bcm) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the first five months of 2022 and 8.9 billion bcm last year, according to data by Refinitiv Eikon.

Egypt seeks to raise its monthly revenues from natural gas to $1 billion instead of up to $600currently, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said during the Euromoney Egypt Conference 2022 today in Cairo.

On the sidelines of the 7th EMGF meeting in Cairo last June, Egypt also signed a framework agreement with the European Union (EU) and Israel to export natural gas from Israel via Egypt to Europe.

The EMGF has eight members: Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Cyprus, Greece, France, and Italy. The EU, the World Bank Group (WBG), and the United States serve as observers.

8th EMGF ministerial meeting

Today's ministerial meeting of the EMGF in the Egyptian capital was under the chairmanship of Natasa Pilides, Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry.

Participants at the meeting agreed to hold the ninth EMGF ministerial meeting in July 2023 under the chairmanship of Egypt's Minister of Petroleum El-Molla.

The meeting has agreed to form the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of the forum proposed by Cyprus.

The committee will provide the required scientific and technical expertise for the members of the EMGF, especially in the decarbonisation of the energy sector and mitigation of climate change consequences, said a statement by the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum.

Honoured to have chaired #EMGF's 8th Ministerial Meeting. We are confident the work prioritised by #Cyprus' 2022 Presidency, including our newly approved proposal for a Scientific & Technical Advisory Committee, will provide tangible solutions. #energysecurity #energytransition

— Natasa Pilides (@NatasaPilidou) December 7, 2022

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