The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources announced in a press release that the petroleum Minister, Sherif Ismail, received a report from Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi concerning the company’s deepwater mega-gas find in the Shorouk block in the Mediterranean Sea. The discovery holds a potential of 30 tcf of gas and 5.5 bboe, covering an area of about 38.6 square miles (100 square kilometers).
Eni the company responsible for 30% of Egypt’s total oil and gas production, had acquired rights to the Sherouk block in January 2014.
Reuters reported that, shortly after the discovery, Eni announced its interest in selling a stake in its mega gas discovery in Egypt. “It’s an open door to give value and solidity to Eni’s balance sheet,” Claudio Descalzi told Italy’s La Repubblica.
The well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 13,553 feet (4,131 meters) and hit 2,067 feet (630 meters) of hydrocarbon column in a carbonate sequence of Miocene age with excellent reservoir characteristics (400 meters plus of net pay). A deeper Cretaceous layer was also found that will be targeted in the future with a dedicated well of its own.
Eni will complete its drilling operations early next year with 3 development wells to accelerate a fast track development of the discovery that will utilize the existing offshore and onshore infrastructures.
This process of developing the find is expected to last 30-36 months, the press release said, adding that it is worth noting that Eni is currently studying a number of alternatives to further compress the timeframe for the project.
Sherif Ismail, for his part, said that the find was one of the positive outcomes of the petroleum agreements that have been signed during the last year and a half. They amounted to 56 agreements with investments of a minimum of more than $ 13b and a minimum of 254 wells drilled with 21 new and amended agreements. He added that this discovery opens up new horizons towards other discoveries and confirms that the Mediterranean region in Egypt is one of the most important sedimentary-bearing natural gas basins in the world.
The find also affirms that Egypt is promising location for petroleum exploration, attracting more investments to bolster reserves and increase production rates, the top priority of the Ministry of Petroleum strategy to the country’s energy needs, he explained.
Descalzi had updated President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on this important success during his recent visit to Cairo in a meeting with the Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail in attendance, said Rigzone, citing an Eni Spa press release.
The world class discovery is at Eni’s Zohr Prospect, the Zohr 1X NFW well located in the in the Shorouk Block of Egypt’s economic waters.
Rigzone also quoted Descalzi as saying that this was a “very important day for Eni and its people. “Our exploration strategy allows us to persist in the mature areas of countries which we have known for decades and has proved to be winning, reconfirming that Egypt has still great potential. This historic discovery will be able to transform the energy scenario of Egypt in which we have been welcomed for over 60 years. The exploration activities are central to our growth strategy: in the last 7 years we have discovered 10 billion barrels of resources and 300 million in the first half of the year, confirming Eni’s leading position in the industry. This exploration success acquires an even greater value as it was made in Egypt which is strategic for Eni, and where important synergies with the existing infrastructures can be exploited allowing us a fast production startup.”
Descalzi told CNBC: “It is changing the game for Egypt… It is very important for Egypt, but also for the Mediterranean in terms of stability.”
He also said that “This type of discovery…is another positive response to this kind of low price environment” the oil sector is facing globally, along with the challenges posed Iran reentering the world market.
“Gas has a big future because of the environmental constraints. The new environmental targets for emission will give gas more power because renewable with gas will be the future in terms of the sustainability of our energy system. I’m very positive on the gas market,” he added.
Prime Minister Mahleb described the discovery as a message from God to the Egyptian people that He is always by their side, reported Youm7.
He also noted how the find would help relieve Egypt from importing natural gas.
In a related development The Times of Israel quoted Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz as saying that the “massive” discovery is a “painful reminder that while Israel sleepwalks and dallies with the final approval for the gas road map, and delays further prospecting, the world is changing in front of us, including ramifications for [Israeli] export options.”