The Ministry of Petroleum is aiming to increase the average production of Egypt’s natural gas during this fiscal year by 19.53%, to reach 5.342bn cubic feet of natural gas daily, compared to 4.469bn cubic feet of gas daily throughout the past fiscal year 2016/2017, according to data from the ministry.
Data reveals that the ministry expects the average consumption of natural gas in the local market during this fiscal year to reach 5.857bn cubic feet of gas per day, compared to 5.375bn cubic feet of gas daily during the past fiscal year.
Over the past period, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla pointed out that his ministry expects the production of natural gas to increase by a daily 1bn cubic feet, reaching up to 6.2bn cubic feet by the end of fiscal year 2017/2018.
According to the data, Egypt’s production of natural gas is expected to continue to increase in FY 2018/2019 to 6.94bn cubic feet of gas per day, which is the year expected to witness Egypt’s success in achieving self-sufficiency in natural gas, as it is expected that consumption will reach 6.384bn cubic feet in FY 2018/2019.
Egypt’s natural gas production will increase in FY 2019/2020 to reach 7.785bn cubic feet, whereas consumption will reach 6.831bn cubic feet of gas per day.
Egypt produces about 5.2bn cubic feet of gas daily, and about 300m cubic feet of gas is used daily in the fields for the extraction equipment, whereas the rest of the production will be directed to the local market.
According to the data, the ministry aims to increase gas production rates to reach 8bn cubic feet of gas daily in FY 2020/2021, which means that there will be a 100% increase compared to 2015.
According to El Molla’s statements, the Zohr, North Alexandria, and Nawras fields will contribute to increasing natural gas production over the upcoming year by 50% compared to 2016. They will also contribute to achieving self-sufficiency of natural gas by the end of 2018, as the three projects will eventually contribute to increase the production of natural gas by 100% in 2020.
Zohr field, which is run by Italian company Eni, started last week injecting natural gas from offshore wells to the new onshore station in El Gamil area in Port Said to the national gas network, with an initial production rate of 350m cubic feet per day.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in May, launched production operations at the North Alexandria project to produce natural gas. The first phase includes the two fields of Taurus and Libra which produce about 700m cubic feet of gas per day.
Production from North Alexandria projects is expected to reach 1bn cubic feet of gas in January 2020. This production rate is expected to continue for five consecutive years, followed by the natural declining process of wells in 2025.
The production of Zohr field’s natural gas is estimated to save nearly $60m per month or what may exceed $700m annually. With the completion of the production, the money saved is expected to reach about $2bn annually.
According to El Molla, Zohr’s production, estimated to be nearly 350m cubic feet of gas daily, equals the volume of three imported shipments of liquefied gas. The three shipments are worth $90m per month, according to El Molla. He pointed out that about $30m will be paid on a monthly basis as a share for partners in Zohr field, in addition to their monthly shares from natural gas production.
El Molla added that with the completion of the first phase of this project that is planned to be completed in June 2018, production will gradually reach over 1bn cubic feet of gas per day, which can positively contribute to achieving self-sufficiency of natural gas and reduce the burden on the state’s general budget as well as reduce importation.
According to El Molla, the value of the money saved from natural gas production in Zohr field is expected to be $720m. The amount is expected to increase with the continuation of Zohr’s production, making the amounts saved reach nearly $2bn.
Total investments in Zohr are estimated to be $12bn, and they will be increasing to $16bn throughout the continuation of the project.
The investments to develop the part of the first phase of the project scheduled in FY 2016/2017 was estimated at $3.8bn, allocated for exploration activities, while total investments of the development work at Zohr field will reach $8bn by the end of 2017/2018.
The start of experimental operation of Zohr increases Egypt’s natural gas production to 5.5bn cubic feet of gas per day.
The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) aims to import about 80 shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) this fiscal year in order to meet local market needs of natural gas. The shipments are worth $1.8bn, compared to 118 shipments imported throughout the past fiscal year.
According to El Molla’s statements, the fields of Zohr, North Alexandria, and Nawras will contribute to increasing natural gas production over the next year by 50% compared to 2016. They will also contribute to achieving natural gas self-sufficiency by the end of 2018. The three projects are expected to increase Egypt’s natural gas production by 100% by 2020.
According to Magdy Galal, EGAS vice chairperson, the company aims to halt LNG imports by the end of next year.