Egypt oil minister Tarek El Molla discussed Egyptian-Italian collaboration with the Italian Ambassador to Cairo Giampaolo Cantini on June 3, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

El Molla and Giampaolo tackled Egypt’s plans to become a regional energy hub, currently a high priority for the Egyptian government.

They discussed the work of the Italian oil companies in Egypt, and possible ways of increasing Italian investment in the Egyptian oil sector.

The Italian multinational Eni is one of the main players in the Egyptian oil and gas sector. The company, 30% owned by the Italian government, holds a 50% stake in Egypt’s Zohr field.

Eni signed a deal worth $105 million with the Egyptian government in March 2018 to explore the North Sinai Mediterranean shores. Rumors has been circulating that Eni discovered another giant gas field called Noor in the area in late June. No official information about the field’s reserves were disclosed, however a ministry spokesperson announced that Eni and Tharwa petroleum would begin exploratory drilling in August.