The Mediterranean's biggest natural gas field has been discovered in Egypt’s deep offshore waters
Italian oil and gas company Eni has discovered a gas field in Egyptian offshore waters, the largest ever found in the Mediterranean Sea.
The well and geophysical data indicates that the field could hold a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas (5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place), which makes one of the world’s largest natural- gas finds.
“It’s a very important day for Eni and its people. This outstanding result confirms our expertise and our technological innovation capacity with immediate operational application, and above all shows the strength of the cooperation spirit amongst all the company’s units which are at the foundation of our great successes.
“Our exploration strategy allows us to persist in the mature areas of countries which we have known for decades and has proved to be winning, reconfirming that Egypt has still great potential,” said Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi.
“This exploration success acquires an even greater value as it was made in Egypt which is strategic for Eni, and where important synergies with the existing infrastructures can be exploited allowing us a fast production startup.”
Covering about 100 square kilometres, the “supergiant” gas field was found at discovery well Zohr 1X NFW at a depth of 4,757 feet (1,450 m) in the Shorouk Block, which Eni signed in January 2014 with the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) following a competitive bidding process.
The discovery is enough to satisfy Egypt’s natural gas demand for decades.
Zohr 1X NFW was drilled to a total depth of approximately 13,553 feet (4,131 m) and hit 2,067 feet (630 m) of hydrocarbon column in a carbonate sequence of Miocene age with excellent reservoir characteristics, Eni said. Zohr also has a deeper Cretaceous upside, which Eni will target in the future with a dedicated well.
Eni, through its subsidiary IEOC Production B.V., holds a 100 per cent of the Contractor’s working interest in the Shorouk Block and is the operator of the concession.
Exploration is central to Eni’s growth strategy. The company has in the last 7 years discovered 10 billion barrels of resources, plus 300 million in the first half of 2015.
Eni is already Egypt’s main main hydrocarbon producer, producing 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.