Italian oil company Eni aims to invest around $7bn during three years to excavate the privilege area of Shorouk in the deep waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
The petroleum agreement for Shorouk was signed in January 2014 by the Ministry of Petroleum and the Holding Company for Gas (EGAS).
In exclusive statement to Daily News Egypt, Chairman of EGAS Khaled Abdel Badie, said that Eni will finalise the development plan of the newly discovered field, Shorouk, in three years, and that the company has dug one excavation well in the privilege area.
Eni had announced on Sunday the discovery of the largest natural gas reserve, in Shorouk.
A report prepared by Eni revealed that the franchise information and seismic data include original reserves estimated at 30tn cubic feet of natural gas, equivalent to about 5.5bn barrels. It covers an area of up to 100 sqkm, to become the largest natural gas discovery in the Mediterranean waters, and perhaps one of the largest gas discoveries in the world.
The report stated that the new discovery was drilled in a water depth of 1,450 metres and reached a depth of 4,131 metres to penetrate a hydrocarbons layer with a thickness of about 2,000 feet of Miocene-era limestone rocks.
It also includes the detection of a deeper promising formation from the Cretaceous era. A well will be drilled later to gain access to this layer. Eni will complete the drilling activities early next year, where three wells will be drilled for a quick detection of further discoveries by utilising the available infrastructure. The discovery development operation is expected to be completed in four years, and will contribute to meeting the domestic natural gas consumption.
It should be noted that Eni is currently considering several alternatives to shorten the discovery development operation, so as to take less than the scheduled time.
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Sherif Ismail said that this important disclosure is one of the positive outcomes of petroleum agreements that have been signed over the past two and a half years. Fifty-six agreements were signed in the past two years, with a minimum investment of over $13bn and the drilling of at least 254 wells.
This comes in addition to 21 new agreements and final stage amendments. He added that this discovery opens up new horizons for other discoveries in Egypt’s Mediterranean, noting that it is one of the most important sedimentary basins of natural gas on a global level.
Head of the Italian oil company Eni Claudio Descalzy highlighted the importance of the strategic partnership with Egypt over the duration of Eni’s work of more than 60 years. He added that Eni’s production represents over 30% of Egypt’s total crude oil and gas production, noting that the new discovery will mark a pivotal shift in the Egyptian energy landscape.