The maritime demarcation agreement with Cyprus paved the way for Egypt to grant concession areas for international companies in deep waters, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said.
Al-Sisi on Wednesday inaugurated the first stage of the giant Zohr gas field, the largest in Egypt and the Mediterranean. The Zohr field was discovered in August 2015 at an undersea depth of about 1,450 meters.
The agreement on the delineation of the maritime area between the Republic of Cyprus and Egypt was signed in February 2003, and was the first such agreement in the Mediterranean.
President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday that large quantities in Egypt’s Zohr encouraged energy giants to express interest in exploratory drilling in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.
According to Daily News Egypt online edition, the Egyptian President praised the efforts exerted by Italian energy company Eni which holds a 60 per cent stake in the Shourouk Concession, which includes the Zohr field, stressing its commitment to speeding production from the field.
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Egypt, Tarek El-Molla, said that the restoration of political and security stability in Egypt has contributed to the signing of 83 new agreements to increase exploration activities.
Zohr is a record-breaking project, as it took only 28 months between its discovery and start of production. It is considered a unique achievement compared to similar discoveries in the world, which usually take six to eight years.
According to el-Molla, Eni produced gas from the Zohr field for the first time in December 2017 at a rate of 350m cubic feet of gas per day. Daily output is set to rise to about 1bn cubic feet in mid-2018 and 1.7bn by the end of the year, he said.
The second stage is due to be finalised by the end of 2019, when production should reach 2.7bn cubic feet, representing 50 per cent of Egypt’s gas production.