Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, confirmed that the natural gas industry witnessed a breakthrough over the past two years, given the recent production rate hiked to its peak in September, a press release by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources suggested.

The statements came during his meeting with Osama Wafik El-Bakly, Chairman of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), who reviewed the achievements of the company during the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018/19.

El Molla highlighted the current objective towards maximizing the benefits of natural gas and its utilization in the petrochemicals industry; which is an integral part of boosting national income and attracting new investments.

Reviewing EGAS achievements during the FY 2018/19, El-Bakly said the natural gas production hit a record of 7.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) in September. He also said that the company has extended its range of natural gas exploration to five new areas in the Mediterranean and the Delta after a bid that witnessed the entrance of ExxonMobil into the Egyptian market to assist in the process of exploration and searching.

El-Bakly said that four areas are being demarcated at the east of the Mediterranean, further, EGAS is due to sign seven agreements with International Oil Companies (IOCs) during the Q4 of 2019, with investments reaching minimum $712 million aimed at drilling 23 exploratory wells.

Meanwhile, EGAS discovered 15 natural gas wells, including five discoveries at the Mediterranean and ten others in the Western Desert. It also completed seven projects to develop and produce natural gas, as a result, the production increased to 1.3 bcf/d as well as 2,155 barrels of condensates which raised the production rate to 21% during the FY 2018/19.

Meeting the demands of the domestic market, EGAS has raised its production to reach 6 bcf/d of natural gas during the FY 2018/19; of which, 62% is dedicated to the electricity sector, 22% to industrial sector, 10% to the petrochemicals industry, and 5% to vehicle fueling and household consumption.