Author: Stuart Elliott; Editor: Jon Fox
London — Italy's Eni has increased production at its supergiant Zohr field offshore Egypt to 2 Bcf/d (57 million cu m/d) following the startup of the project's fifth production unit.
Zohr started production in December 2017 -- just 28 months after its discovery -- and is on track to reach plateau production of 2.7 Bcf/d next year.
The production peak -- the equivalent of almost 29 Bcm/year -- would represent more than half of Egypt's current gas demand of around 52 Bcm.
Egypt -- which until recently was a fairly stable exporter of both LNG and pipeline gas -- began importing LNG in April 2015 to fill a growing supply-demand gap caused by a major slowdown in domestic gas development.
But with the startup of Zohr and other gas fields in Egypt, the country expects to halt LNG imports by the end of 2018 and become an exporter of gas again in 2019.
"Zohr [...] is playing a fundamental role in supporting Egypt's independence from LNG imports," Eni said.
Zohr is the largest deepwater gas field offshore Egypt, and the biggest discovered to date in the Mediterranean with an estimated 850 Bcm (30 Tcf) of reserves.
It is located within the offshore Shorouk block 190km north of Port Said.
Eni holds a 50% stake in the block together with Russia's Rosneft (30%), BP (10%) and the UAE's Mubadala Petroleum (10%).