Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) has reduced its exports of natural gas through the EDCO liquefaction factory – owned by Royal Dutch Shell – to 500m cubic feet per day (scf/day) in April, compared to 800m scf/day last month.
A source at EGAS told Daily News Egypt that Shell has reduced the amounts to be exported through its EDCO plant according to the shipments agreed upon to be supplied to global markets.
He explained that the gas quantities exported through EDCO are determined according to the shipments to be supplied during the current period with the regular pumping through the national grid.
According to the source, by June, the quantities of gas required to operate the EDCO factory at full capacity will be available on the grid, and will be estimated at 1.13bn scf/day.
Tarek El-Molla, the minister of petroleum, told DNE in a previous statement that the EDCO factory will operate at full capacity in mid-2019 as gas starts to arrive from neighbouring fields in the Mediterranean and Egypt increases local gas production.
He added that the quantities of natural gas exports through the EDCO plant were increased so that Egypt would return to the global markets strongly after achieving local self sufficiency.
The structure of the ownership of the EDCO plant is 12% to the General Petroleum Corporation, 12% for EGAS, 35.5% to Shell, 35.5% to Petronas, and 5% to Gaz de France.
The source explained that the quantities allocated for export through EDCO have gradually increased, after the consumption of gas declined during winter.
He said that the plan of the ministry of petroleum to connect the wells of Zohr, North Alexandria, and Borollos according to the timetable of each stage will contribute to increasing the domestic production and covering consumption rates, with the operation of the liquefaction factory, alongside the gas coming from Cyprus and Israel.
The contractual share of the EDCO plant is estimated to be 1.13bn cubic feet of gas per day. Pumping rates decreased since 2011 due to the decline of Egypt’s natural gas production after the 25 January Revolution until it stopped completely since the beginning of 2015.
The EDCO liquefaction factory is designed to work 340 days every year and production stops every month to carry out unit maintenance. Maintenance costs $20m annually.
Egypt’s natural gas production increased to 6.8bn scf/day in 2019, compared to 6.2bn scf/day last year after connecting the gas from the second phase of the West Nile Delta project ‘North Alexandria’ along with several other wells.