CAIRO, July 27 (Reuters) - Egypt expects its natural gas production to rise to 6.2 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day by the end of the fiscal year next June from 5.2 bcf/d currently, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla told Reuters on Thursday.
Once an energy exporter, Egypt became an importer of natural gas after domestic output failed to keep pace with rising demand. It aims to regain self-sufficiency in natural gas by the end of 2018 with the help of three recently discovered major gas fields.
The projects include the mammoth Zohr Mediterranean gas field discovered by Italy's Eni in 2015.
Eni obtained approval to develop Zohr, which is estimated to contain some 850 billion cubic feet, in February.
It is expected to start extracting gas by the end of the year.
Egypt's fiscal year begins in July and ends on June 30.
(Reporting by Ehab Farouk; writing by Arwa Gaballa; editing by Patrick Markey and Jason Neely)