Egypt’s Zohr natural gas field is expected to produce 3 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) by the end of 2019, spokesman for the Ministry of Petroleum, Hamdy Abdel Aziz, told Al Hayah Al Youm.

The field’s original development plan projected a maximum capacity of 2.7 bcf/d, making the spokeman’s latest statement a significant revision from original estimates.

Operating company Eni expects to reach several important milestones in 2019. The company will start drilling the field’s tenth well this month, which is expected to produce around 200 million standard cubic feet per day (mscf/d), a source revealed in December. Meanwhile the field’s gas processing plant is on track for completion in the second half of the year.

The spokesman’s announcement is the latest in a string of positive natural gas projections for 2019. The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company said in December that it plans to increase the country’s total gas production by 1.5 bcf/d during 2019.

The recent discoveries of several natural gas fields such as Zohr, North Alexandria, and Nooros have helped to turn Egypt from a gas importer into a self-sufficient country.

The country’s total natural gas production now exceeds 6.6 bcf/d.