Eni plans to drill three additional wells as part of the first phase of development at Zohr natural gas field, an official at the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) told Al Shorouk Newspaper.

The decision means that a total of nine wells will be drilled during the first stage.

The extra wells come as part of a plan to increase gas production rates to over 700 million standard cubic feet per day (mscf/d) by May 2018 and 1.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) by the end of 2018, according to Al Arab News.

The mechanical and electrical installation works for Zohr field’s first and second phases will soon be completed, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

Head of Belayim Petroleum Company (Petrobel) Atef Hassan announced the news during a meeting chaired by the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, adding that pre-operation tests had begun.

The meeting was held to review the time frame for completing the field’s development and the anticipated production increase.