Italian firm ENI started drilling 20 wells at the Egypt’s Zohr supergiant offshore gas field – discovered in August 2015 – on December 26th at an estimated cost of $12b, Egypt’s government press release informed citing Petroleum Minister, Tarek El Molla.

According to Amwal Al Ghad, ENI is covering the full investment in the drilling, which is expected to last around 26 months. Final agreements will be signed in late December, as ENI and the government have agreed on the development and gas sales plans for the field.

The Zohr field, located in the Shorouk concession in the Mediterranean, could be the largest ever found in the Mediterranean and comes at a critical time for Egypt, energy-wise. Once completed, the Zohr field may produce up to 2.7bcf/d of gas and it is expected to double Egypt’s total gas supply.