Italian energy major Eni has announced the discovery of a new offshore gas deposit in Egypt at the Nargis-1 exploration well, which is located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea’s Nargis offshore area concession, the company said on Sunday.
The Nargis-1 well is part of Egypt’s 1,800-square-kilometer Nargis offshore area concession operated by the US oil and gas giant Chevron. Both companies own a 45% stake in the exploration project, while a 10% stake belongs to Egypt’s Tharwa Petroleum Company SAE.
The volume of reserves in the well are being evaluated, Egypt’s state-owned EGAS said, adding that it would work with Chevron and the other partners to start production as soon as possible.
Eni has been present in Egypt since 1954, where it operates through the subsidiary IEOC. The company is currently the country’s leading supplier, with hydrocarbon production reaching approximately 350,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
The new discovery at the Nargis-1 “can be developed leveraging the proximity to Eni’s existing facilities,” the group said in a statement. The state-controlled company is looking for new gas sources as it aims to completely replace imports from Russia by 2025.
Egypt has around 2.21 trillion cubic meters of proven gas reserves and produced over 95 billion cubic meters in 2021. The country strengthened its positions as a gas producer after Eni discovered the giant Zohr field in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2015 with an estimated 850 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
In the past eight years, the African country has boosted its gas production by 66%. In 2022, Egypt exported about 22 million cubic meters of liquefied natural gas, the bulk of which went to Europe.
Last year, the EU signed an agreement with Egypt and Israel to boost energy imports from the Eastern Mediterranean in order to cut dependence on Russia, and allow more Western companies to be involved in gas exploration in the region.
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