Egypt chases own energy sources to meet demand
24 Oct 2016 - 4:09
CAIRO: Egypt will boost production of natural gas to 5bn cubic feet per day in the 2017-2018 fiscal year as the giant Zohr field comes online, but will still also ramp up gas imports to feed a spike in consumption, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla (pictured) said.
Once an energy exporter, Egypt has turned into a net importer in recent years, squeezed by declining production and increasing consumption. The shortfall and squeezed finances have forced the government to ration gas supplies to industry, with some plants unable to operate at full capacity as a result.
Egypt’s Oil Ministry is racing to reverse that trend, speeding up the development of major gas discoveries with a stated goal of achieving energy self-sufficiency by 2020-21.
Next year Zohr, the offshore field discovered by Italy’s Eni in August 2015, comes online. Zohr is the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean with an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet. Further boosting supply, BP’s northern Alexandria field is also due to enter production next year.