Egypt’s President stresses the importance of demarcation agreement with Cyprus in Zohr’s field discovery

President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said on Wednesday that the maritime demarcation agreement with Cyprus paved the way for Egypt to grant concession areas for international companies in deep waters, in accordance with clear rules and laws that govern areas shared by Egypt and neighbouring countries.

He was speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the first stage of the giant Zohr gas field, the largest in Egypt and the Mediterranean.

The agreement on the delineation of the Maritime Area between the Republic of Cyprus and Egypt was signed on 17 February 2003, and was the first such agreement in the Mediterranean.

Giant Zohr field was discovered in August 2015 at an undersea depth of about 1,450 meters.

According to Daily News Egypt online edition, the President praised the efforts exerted by Italian energy company Eni which holds a 60% stake in the Shourouk Concession, which includes the Zohr field, stressing its commitment to of speeding production from the field.

He noted that Egypt used to import $1.2bn worth of petroleum products monthly, due to the decline in local production, that resulted the Central Bank of Egypt’s reserves of foreign currency to have declined severely as a result of the continuous import of petroleum products.

Meanwhile, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Egypt, Tarek El-Molla, said that the restoration of political and security stability in Egypt has contributed to the signing of 83 new agreements to increase exploration activities.

Zohr is a record-breaking project, as it took only 28 months between its discovery and start of production. It is a unique achievement compared to similar discoveries in the world, which usually take six to eight years.

El-Molla pointed out that Eni produced gas from the Zohr field for the first time in December 2017 at a rate of 350m cubic feet of gas per day. Daily output is set to rise to about 1bn cubic feet in mid-2018 and 1.7bn by the end of the year, he said. The second stage is due to be finalised by the end of 2019, when production should reach 2.7bn cubic feet, representing 50% of Egypt’s gas production.

Source: Cyprus News Agency