Special to WorldTribune.com
Italian oil and gas major Eni has discovered what could be the world’s largest natural-gas field in the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast.
On Aug. 30, Eni said in a press release that it had discovered a “supergiant” gas field that could hold “a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas in place.”
Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni, told CNBC: “It is changing the game for Egypt. It is very important for Egypt, but also for the Mediterranean in terms of stability.”
The Zohr field in the Mediterranean covers an area of about 100 square kilometers (60 square miles). Eni said the â€œsupergiantâ€� field could fulfill Egypt’s natural gas demand for “decades.”
Descalzi did not give an exact date for when the gas might hit the market, but said developments would be quick as the gas field is close to Eni’s processing facilities.
“It is close to the facilities so the time to market will be very goodâ€¦ that is part of our strategy to continue to do our exploration in the mature area where we have a deep geographical knowledge and we can take advantage of our facilities and that will make the unit cost in terms of capital very positive.”
Eni signed an energy exploration deal with Egypt’s oil ministry in June that is worth $2 billion. The deal allows the Italian firm to explore in Sinai, the Gulf of Suez, the Mediterranean and areas in the Nile Delta.
“Gas has a big future because of the environmental constraints. The new environmental targets for emission will give gas more power because renewable with gas will be the future in terms of the sustainability of our energy system. I’m very positive on the gas market,” Descalzi said.