The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum has signed a deep-water oil and gas exploration agreement with petroleum giant Royal Dutch Shell and Malaysia’s Petronas worth around $1bn to drill eight wells in Egypt’s West Nile Delta region, according to a statement issued by the ministry on Saturday.
Additionally, another agreement worth $10m was signed to drill four wells in the Western Desert with the United Kingdom’s Rockhopper, Kuwait Energy, and Canada’s Dover Corporation.
Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla explained that the launch of international tenders and agreements in Egypt’s oil and gas sector will continue in full swing, to develop Egypt’s resources, thereby increasing production to meet domestic market needs and reduce imports.
He added that the reforms undertaken in the country have yielded outstanding results. The petroleum sector has thus far managed to sign 63 new agreements for the exploration of oil and gas since June 2014 with a total investment of around $15bn.
Egypt aspires to become a regional gas hub, following the discovery of the giant Zohr gas field in offshore Egypt, the largest gas field ever discovered in the Mediterranean, with reserves estimated at 30tn cubic feet. This increase will almost double the field’s output capacity, bringing Egypt a step closer to ending its dependency on liquefied natural (LNG) gas imports.
The impact of the Zohr gas field could surpass Egypt’s boundaries owing to its geographic location and availability of nearby infrastructure, as it will pave the way for Egypt to become a destination for Cypriot, and Israeli natural gas to be re-imported into Europe, using the already existing LNG export infrastructure in Idku and Damietta.