Italian energy group Eni SpA announced late on April 13 new oil and gas discoveries in Egypt’s Meleiha concessions, which would add around 8,500 boe/d to production.

The company also signed a deal earlier on April 13 to increase gas production in Egypt and boost LNG supplies to Europe as the continent tries to cut its reliance on Russian gas amid the war in Ukraine.

The move comes as Italy and Europe step up efforts to find alternative gas imports to cut their reliance on Russian gas as the war in Ukraine escalates. Earlier in the week, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi clinched a deal to ramp up gas imports from Algeria to help replace some of the 29 Bcm Italy receives from Russia.

Eni, which in 2015 discovered the super-giant Zohr gas field in Egypt, said it had agreed with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. (EGAS) to boost gas production and step up exploration at existing and new fields. The agreement could result in shipping up to 3 Bcm of LNG to Europe this year, according to Eni.

Eni, whose biggest shareholder is the state, holds a stake in Egypt’s Damietta LNG plant which has a capacity of more than 7.5 Bcm per year.

The new oil and gas discoveries in the Meleiha concessions, in Egypt’s Western Desert, have already been connected and tied into production.

The results of the new discoveries were obtained through:

  • Nada E Deep 1X well, which encountered 60 m of net hydrocarbon pay in the Cretaceous-Jurassic Alam El Bueib and Khatatba formations;
  • Meleiha SE Deep 1X well, which found 30 m of net hydrocarbon pay in the Cretaceous-Jurassic sands of the Matruh and Khatatba formations; and
  • Emry Deep 21 well, which encountered 35 m of net hydrocarbon pay in the massive cretaceous sandstones of Alam El Bueib.

“These results, added to the discoveries of 2021 for total of eight exploration wells, give a 75% of success rate, confirming the potential of the area. Other exploration activities in the concession are ongoing with promising indications,” the company said in a release.