By Charles Kennedy
Italian oil and gas major Eni has announced a new gas discovery offshore Egypt, at the nargis-1 exploration well.
The well was drilled in a concession area that Eni shares with Chevron, which is the operator of the exploration project with a 45-percent stake. Eni also has a 45-percent interest in the concession.
The eastern Mediterranean has become a hot spot for gas exploration after several significant discoveries, including the giant Zohr field in Egypt which Eni also discovered.
Egypt has some 2.21 trillion cubic meters of proven gas reserves and produced over 95 billion cubic meters as of 2021. Zohr alone produces over 2.7 billion cu ft of gas daily. Its reserves are estimated at 850 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Over the last eight years, Egypt’s gas production has grown by 66 percent, with export revenues surging 13-fold. Last year, the country’s liquefied natural gas exports topped 8 million tons, the bulk of which was sent to gas-starved Europe.
Also last year, Egypt and Israel signed a cooperation deal with the European Union aimed at securing more eastern Mediterranean gas for Europe and having more Europe-based companies participate in gas exploration in the region.
At the end of last year, the Egyptian government announced an oil and gas tender involving six offshore blocks and six onshore blocks in the Nile Delta and the Mediterranean. The deadline was set for April 30 this year.
Meanwhile, the government awarded two exploration licenses in the outer Nile Delta to Exxon earlier this month. The U.S. supermajor will have complete control over both blocks, which cover a combined 11,000 sq km.
Last month, Egypt announced a gas discovery in its section of the Mediterranean, in a block operated by Chevron. The discovery could hold some 3.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.