Italian Oil Company Eni declared some days ago the Mediterranean’s biggest-ever and the world’s 20th largest gas discovery offshore Egypt, in the Zohr field located in the Shorouk Block on the country’s offshore boundary in the Deepwater of the Mediterranean and very near to Cyprus’ Block 12 containing the Aphrodite discovery and Isreal’s Leviathan discovery. The discovery holds an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet TCF of gas.
The Zohr is the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea, and could become one of the world’s largest natural-gas finds. The well was drilled in 4,757 feet water depth to 13,553 feet total depth and encountered a hydrocarbon column at 2,067 feet in a carbonate sequence of Miocene age with excellent reservoir characteristics, containing over 400 meters of net pay.
ENI said that according to the well and seismic data available, the discovery which covers an area of about 100 sq km could hold a potential of 30 TCF of lean gas in place (5.5 billion boe in place). The company will start appraise the field with the aim of accelerating a fast track development of the discovery that will best utilize existing offshore and onshore infrastructures.
ENI’s CEO, Claudio Descalzi, has recently travelled to Cairo to discuss the new exploration success with the Egyptian institutional leaders. Descalzi said: “It’s a very important day for ENI and its people. This outstanding result confirms our expertise and our technological innovation capacity with immediate operational application, and above all shows the strength of the cooperation spirit amongst all the company’s units which are at the foundation of our great successes. 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. In the last seven 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” he continued.
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”, he added.
Eni is the main hydrocarbon producer in Egypt, with a daily production of 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent and has 100% working interest in the block which it obtained in January 2014 through its subsidiary IEOC Production B.V. Its contract was signed with the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) following a competitive international bid round.
Egyptian Oil Minister “Sherif Ismaeel” said the discovery could provide high support of feedstock for the domestic power market.
For Israel, shares in U.S. based Noble Energy, which is developing Israel’s biggest gas field Leviathan with Israeli energy companies, fell 7.1 percent at $32.08 in New York.
“It’s a bit early to assess the quality of the data and their significance, but if they are accurate, the discovery off Egypt’s coast is bad news for the Israeli economy and the companies holding the (gas) assets in particular,” said Eldad Tamir, chief executive of Israel investment house Tamir Fishman. Zohr reserves will be direct competitors to the Israeli projects, potentially driving down prices along with profit margins, he said.