Natural gas production at Egypt’s Zohr Field, the largest gas field in the Mediterranean, has increased to 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), Egypt’s petroleum minister said on Aug. 21.
In February, Egypt’s petroleum ministry said the field’s production stood at 2.1 Bcf/d. The government aims to raise production to 3 Bcf/d by the end of the year.
The minister, Tarek al-Molla, said in a statement that the current production level was reached four months ahead of schedule. There are now 12 wells in production in the field, the statement said.
Zohr was discovered in 2015 by Italy’s Eni and began output in late 2017. It holds an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Eni controls 50% of the project. Kremlin-controlled Rosneft owns 30%, while BP and Mubadala Petroleum each have a 10% stake in Zohr.
Higher output helped Egypt become self-sufficient in natural gas in late 2018. Zohr’s discovery piqued investor interest in Egypt’s gas market and renewed the country’s hopes of becoming a regional energy hub.
There was no immediate confirmation or comment from state oil firm NOC which operates with foreign partners the 315,000 barrels-per-day (bbl/d) field deep in Libya’s southern desert.
Egypt expects investments of at least $750 million to $800 million in the first stage of exploration in the 12 concessions, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said during a press conference.
Uganda expects to begin producing oil in 2022, its energy minister Irene Muloni said on Feb. 13, indicating a slight delay from the east African country’s revised target of 2021.