The deposit is estimated to have 30 trillion cubic feet of gas equivalent to 5.5 billion barrels, Eni said in a statement.
The existence of this great deposit was confirmed by the Ministry of Petroleum of Egypt.
Angus Blair of investment advisory firm Signet said “It’s a very useful positive economic factor in Egypt. Obviously it will help President (Abdel-Fattah) el-Sissi and the government, but to look at it very practically, and economically, it has just come at a very good time.”
Petroleum Ministry spokesman Hamdi Abdelaziz said the monetary value of the gas has yet to be determined, but that it would be extracted for domestic consumption only. “We hope to become self-sufficient by 2020,” he said.
“The gas find is a windfall, but it doesn’t take Egypt into the league of major gas producers,” said Simon Kitchen, a strategist at Egypt’s EFG Hermes bank. “It should support a recovery in Egypt’s industrial output, (but) the risk is that the windfall income created by the find leads Egypt to freeze much-needed economic reforms.”
The Italian company is expected to begin selling in the internal market of Egypt. Preparations are estimated to begin shortly and after about four years it is estimated that the first gas sales from this deposit will start.