Italian energy company announces discovery of “largest” gas field find in region; Israeli MK’s to press pressure on Knesset gas agreement
The Italian energy company Eni SpA announced the discovery of a massive gas field 190 kilometers off the coast of Egypt in the Shorouk Block.
The discovery, which is believed to be a gas field exceeding 100 square kilometers, is yet another natural energy boost to the region. It is believed to be the “largest-ever” discovered gas field in the Mediterranean. The gas field is being referred to as the “Zohr project”. There is a believed 30 trillion cubic feet of gas in Zohr.
A statement release by Eni SpA stated that, “Zohr is the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea and could become one of the world’s largest natural gas finds. The discovery, after its full development, will be able to ensure satisfying Egypt’s natural gas demand for decades. Eni will immediately appraise the field with the aim of accelerating a fast-track development of the discovery.”
Eni SpA CEO Claudio Descalzi stated on the discovery that “It is changing the game for Egypt…It is very important for Egypt, but also for the Mediterranean in terms of stability… It is close to the facilities so the time to market will be very good… that is part of our strategy to…continue to do our exploration in the mature area where we have a deep geographical knowledge and we can take advantage of our facilities and that will make the unit cost in terms of capital very positive.”
The discovery comes during negotiations in the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) on Israel’s future natural energy development and export expectations to boost Israel’s economy, nan agreement to be made in the government in the coming weeks. Israel has two major gas fields, the Tamar and Leviathan.
In an interview with Israel’s Army Radio, Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz stated on the gas field discovery off Egypt’s shores that, “The discovery of the massive gas field in Egypt is a painful reminder that while Israel sleepwalks and dallies with the final approval for the gas road map, and delays further prospecting, the world is changing in front of us, including ramifications for Israeli export options. We must pass the gas road map and forward the Israeli gas industry.”
Israel’s Leviathan gas field contains 16 trillion cubic feet of gas, with a projected development end date by 2019.
Israel signed a $1.2 billion, 70-year deal in March with Egypt on investment in Israel’s Tamar gas field, with a reported deal of $5 billion cubic meters of gas for the Dolphinus Holdings Firm.