Italian energy firm Eni announced on Sunday the discovery of a gas field off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast that could potentially yield 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas, enough to satisfy Egypt’s natural gas demand for decades.
The field is the largest gas discovery in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea, and could become one of the world’s largest natural gas finds, the company said.
The find was made at a depth of 1,450 meters in the Zohr prospect in the Shorouk Block of Egypt’s offshore Mediterranean holdings.
According to a statement from Egypt’s Oil Ministry, the discovery and preparations phases of the project will take 30-36 months.
The new find has the potential to turn around Egypt’s energy crunch.
Once a natural gas exporter, in recent years Egypt has been unable to produce enough natural gas to meet its own needs, leading to repeated power cuts for residential and industrial companies.
The country’s natural gas exporting facilities have been sitting idle, and Egypt has had to rent floating terminals in order to import the fuel from abroad.
Sunday’s announcement also casts doubt on the future of export deals that called for connecting Egypt to pipelines from Cyprus and Israel to supply Egypt’s local demand and to make use of Egypt’s dormant export facilities to reach the global market.