Egypt is planning to import between 100 and 108 cargoes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year while preparing to begin production at two gas fields. This step will help the country approach its self-sufficiency target.
According to a reporter from Bloomberg familiar with the matter whom asked not to be identified, the LNG shipments include around 43-45 cargoes in government-to-government contracts from Oman, France’s Engie SA, and Russia’s Rosneft PJSC.
BP Plc’s North Alexandria concession and Eni SpA’s giant Zohr field are working towards starting production this April, which may result in an import reduction in 2018.
“Egypt will start exporting gas in 2019,” said Mohamed El-Masry, chairperson of Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS).
Egyptian Petroleum Minister, Tarek El-Molla, added that “Egypt may announce new fuel discoveries by the second half of this year.”
Moreover, EGAS has also signed an oil agreement in January with Italy’s Edison for oil and natural gas exploration and production in the Mediterranean Sea worth over $86m.
The agreement was signed by El-Molla, El-Masry, and Maurizio Coratella, vice president for Edison’s exploration and production activities for Egypt and the Middle East.
El-Molla believes that signing more oil exploration contracts would raise global investments in Egypt.
Egypt is one of the top areas explored by suppliers.
Gas exports could boost Egypt’s economy by bringing desired foreign cash to the country, especially after the drastic rise in costs ever since the government floated the Egyptian pound and raised interest rates in hopes of restoring confidence in an economy abominably affected by political turmoil throughout the past six years.