An official in the state-run Egypt Natural Gas Holding (EGAS) stated that Egypt will decrease its liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports by 30% in September 2017, reported Amwal Al Ghad.

The official said, “We plan to import 10 shipments per month during June and July and to cut them down to seven per month during September and to five once Zohr field starts production.”

In May, Egypt was holding talks with its LNG suppliers to defer contracted shipments this year. The North African country aims to cut back on purchases in 2018, as surging domestic gas production squeezes out demand for costly foreign imports.

Egypt was a net exporter of LNG until 2014, when declining output and power shortages resulting from political upheaval forced the country to divert fuel for its own use and turned the most populous Arab nation into a net importer.

Zohr, the biggest find in the Mediterranean Sea, which Eni discovered in 2015, has an estimated reserve of about 850bcm of natural gas in place. The government expects the deposit to help ease Egypt’s energy shortage and allow it to resume exports.