Italian oil and gas giant Eni has announced a new gas discovery offshore Egypt, at the nargis-1 exploration well.

The well was drilled in a concession area that Eni shares with Chevron, which is the operator of the exploration project with a 45 percent working interest. Eni also has a 45 percent stake in the concession.

The eastern Mediterranean has become a hot spot for gas exploration after several major discoveries, including the giant Zohr field in Egypt, which Eni also discovered.

Egypt has some 2.21 trillion cubic meters of proven gas reserves and produced more than 95 billion cubic meters as of 2021. Zohr alone produces more than 2.7 billion cubic feet of gas per day. Its reserves are estimated at 850 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Over the past eight years, Egypt’s gas production has grown 66 percent and export earnings have increased 13-fold. Last year, the country’s liquefied natural gas exports exceeded 8 million tons, the highest part of which was sent to a gas-hungry Europe.

Also last year, Egypt and Israel signed a cooperation agreement with the European Union aimed at securing more eastern Mediterranean gas for Europe and getting more European-based companies involved in gas exploration in the region.

Late last year, the Egyptian government announced an oil and gas tender involving six offshore and six onshore blocks in the Nile delta and the Mediterranean. The deadline was set for April 30 of this year.

Meanwhile, the government awarded two exploration licenses in the outer Nile delta to Exxon earlier this month. The US supermajor will have full control over both blocks, which cover a combined 11,000 km2.

Last month, Egypt announced a gas discovery in its section of the Mediterranean, in a block operated by Chevron. The discovery could contain about 3.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

By Charles Kennedy for

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