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High noon in the Mediterranean

Published by , Senior Editor
LNG Industry,

In September 2015, the discovery of the Zohr gas field in Egyptian waters came at just the right time to help the country’s volatile economy and ever-increasing energy requirements. It is not just the size of the field, which could conceivably hold 30 trillion ft3 of lean gas, but rather Egypt’s ability, speed and desire to develop that sets it apart in the region.

However, adding to an already overcrowded marketplace and eliminating the possibility of Egypt as a primary energy importer will have resounding effects on the global market.

This article examines how the discovery of the Zohr gas field differs from other recent discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean and what influence this will have on the global LNG markets.

Pace of development

Egypt’s new field has been described as a ‘supergiant’ by the Italian company Eni, who has been granted exploration and upstream production rights for the Nile Delta area. Zohr, which means ‘noon’ in Arabic, is expected to be the largest gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean gas basin, but it certainly was not the first big field to be found in the region. In 2010, Israel discovered the Leviathan gas field, with a projected 22 trillion ft3 of gas, as well as the Tamar field, with 10 trillion ft3, the year before. In 2011, Cyprus found the Aphrodite field, with a projected 4.5 trillion ft3 of gas.

However, only a year after being detected, Zohr is on the fast track to successful development. Eni is developing 20 fields and has pledged to invest an estimated US$12 million in the project. The first exploration period for the 100 km2 area is planned for January 2017. The progress made here stands out all the more because…

This article was originally published in the May 2016 issue of LNG Industry magazine. To read the full version of this article, please sign in or register for a free trial subscription.

Written by Dirk Frame, T.A. Cook Consultants, Germany. Edited by

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