Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla said that an agreement in the energy sector is set to be signed with the European Union next week.
During his opening speech at the ninth Mediterranean Offshore Conference and Exhibition (MOC 2018) held in Alexandria, El-Molla said the agreement aims to boost cooperation in the natural gas and petroleum field. He added that the EU is expected to be the main beneficiary of the transported energy through Egypt.
The minister pointed out that an initial agreement with the Cypriot government was reached to establish a gas pipeline between the two countries amid ongoing discussions between the two governments in this regard.
El-Molla said that Egypt has witnessed several changes over the past few years, imposing huge challenges that required economic reforms adopted by the government in several sectors. He said that the oil and gas sector in Egypt is witnessing significant developments to cope with international standards in the framework of the Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030.
According to El-Molla, the Ministry of Petroleum succeeded last year in adding about 1.6bn cubic feet of gas to Egypt’s daily production, reaching about 5.5bn cubic feet per day, thanks to new gas fields: in northern Alexandria, Nooros, Atoll, and Zohr.
El-Molla noted that Egypt aims to be a regional hub for trading and transporting gas and oil, whether through the country’s own production or imports from neighbouring countries that can be used to meet local needs or transported to other countries. This important step was based on several factors, notably Egypt’s strategic location on both sides of the Suez Canal and the suitable infrastructure for transporting, storing, and trading crude oil, petroleum products, and gas with Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
El-Molla asserted that Egypt has taken serious steps in this regard, including the issuance of a new gas law and forming a joint committee between the government and relevant entities and bodies to solve potential challenges.
On the other hand, Fabio Cavanna, chairperson of Ieoc, affiliated with Italian energy company Eni, said the company aims to increase the Zohr field’s gas production to about 1.2bn cubic feet of gas per day by May, with expectation to reach 2bn cubic feet per day by the end of the year and 2.7bn cubic feet in 2019.