Egypt Set to Achieve Self-Sufficiency of Natural Gas by 2018

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Credit: Creative Commons/Andyminicooper

Egypt is poised to achieve self-sufficiency in the context of natural gas by the end of 2018, according to Egyptian minister of oil, Tarek El-Molla.

El-Molla pointed out recently during his meeting with the members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt that the ministry was about to file a new bill to the parliament pertaining to natural gas trade. The bill is suggestive of the involvement of private sectors in this trade.

The minister added that the discovery of the gas field Zohr in the Mediterranean Sea and the start of production of West Delta in north Alexandria are advancing the production of natural gas of Egypt and contributing to meet the local market needs.

In light of the domestic production of gas significantly increasing, Egypt is currently holding talks with its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) suppliers to postpone their shipments.

According to sources, Cairo’s decision towards achieving self-sufficiency of natural gas by 2018 could prove to be a major obstacle to its supplier due to its ranking as the eighth biggest importer of LNG. There would be a possibility for them to shift to other markets with concerns over the impact on global gas prices still hovering in case alternatives are not discovered soon.

It is backed by statistics that the domestic gas production of Egypt is 4.35 billion cubic feet per day and the consumption stands at 5.2 billion.

Recently, Egypt has discovered several natural gas fields. British Petroleum, made a gas discovery in March, in the north of Damietta offshore concession which is in the East Nile Delta of Egypt. The discovery of a new natural gas field in the Baltim South Development Lease in the east Nile Delta was also announced in 2016.

Meanwhile, Shell discovered around 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas in the Western Desert in 2016, and Zohr field was being considered as a super giant with its discovery in late 2015.

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