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Egypt to fast-track Zohr gas output

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LNG Industry,

Bloomberg are reporting that Egypt is working with Eni SpA, operator of the giant Zohr gas field, to fast-track output and end the country’s need to import liquefied natural gas as early as this year.

Zohr, the largest undersea gas discovery in the Mediterranean, will pump 1.7 billion ft3 per day before the end of 2018. Egypt is talking with Rome-based Eni to increase output to reach the 2019 production target this year instead.

Zohr’s reserves – estimated at about 30 trillion ft3 – may offer a permanent solution to the power shortages of the most populous Arab nation. The field’s output will also help ease pressure on Egypt’s economy, which has struggled with a shortage of foreign currency since a 2011 uprising. Egypt now imports LNG at a high cost to meet its energy needs, and Zohr’s production could put an end to the tenders that suppliers from Glencore Plc to Trafigura PTE Ltd. have won in past years.

Zohr, which Eni discovered in August 2015, has had a target of pumping 2.7 billion ft3 per day by the end of 2019. Russia’s state-owned producer Rosneft PJSC closed a deal in October to acquire 30 percent of the field, and BP Plc bought a 10% stake last year.

Zohr’s output is not only moving Egypt closer toward achieving energy self-sufficiency. It might also restore the nation as a gas supplier for the eastern Mediterranean region.

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