Egypt received the final liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment, after which the country will halt natural gas imports, Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla said on Saturday.
According to the Ministry of Petroleum, LNG imports cost the state about $280m monthly, to meet domestic market demands.
Moreover, it is estimated that around $3bn this fiscal year will be saved following the connection of the new gas explorations to the production cycle.
Egypt’s natural gas production has risen to 6.6bn cubic feet per day (scf/day), following the increased production by the giant Zohr field, in the Mediterranean. Zohr currently produces around 2bn scf/day.
Egypt aspires to become a regional gas hub for LNG trading in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, after a string of major discoveries in recent years including Zohr, which holds an estimated 30tn cubic feet of gas.
Consequently, in February two 10-year agreements, worth $15bn, to export 7bn cubic metres annually of Israeli natural gas to Egypt were signed.
The agreements between Delek Drilling and Noble Energy—the operators of Israel’s largest natural gas fields Tamar and Leviathan—and the Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings, and the gas will be directed to the natural gas liquidation facilities in Idku, and Damietta, and to be re-exported afterwards.
Moreover, on Thursday, Delek Drilling and Noble Energy—the operators of Israel’s largest natural gas fields Tamar and Leviathan—and the Egyptian company East Gas Co, have bought control of a pipeline to Egypt, removing the last stumbling block in the way for the Israeli gas exports into Egypt.
The three companies signed a $518m deal to buy a 39% shares in pipeline owner Eastern Mediterranean Gas Co, $185m of the amount is to be paid by the Israeli companies, and the remaining $333m to be paid by East Gas Co.