The Ministry of Petroleum has decided to dispense with one of the gasification ships rented to receive imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) by the next year benefitting from new gas fields, most notably the first phase of Zohr field.
Minister of Petroleum Tarek El Molla said in a statement to Daily News Egypt that the ministry will dispense with the most expensive gasification ship to save the foreign currency spent on importing gas.
He added that the new gas discoveries will increase the local production and reduce the gap between domestic production and consumption, which contribute to reducing the quantities of imported gas.
The minister expected that Egypt will stop importing LNG by the end of 2018, adding that the country will start exporting LNG by 2019 to the contracting countries.
The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) has contracted Singaporean-Norwegian BW Gas to provide Egypt with its second LNG floating import terminal at Ain Sokhna port in October 2015. The terminal have the capacity of 750,000 cubic metres.
In November 2014, EGAS signed a five-year contract with Norwegian company Hog to supply the first floating gasification plant to receive LNG shipments and convert it into natural gas with a maximum capacity of 500 million cubic feet per day. This ship has arrived in the first week of April 2015.
El Molla said that the petroleum sector has achieved a number of oil discoveries during the last period that were linked to the national grid successively, the first of which was the Norse field, whose production will reach about 1.2 million cubic feet per day before the end of August.
He added that the first phase of the Taurus Libra field in north Alexandria was connected to the production grid six months ahead of its scheduled date, with a production capacity of about 630 million cubic feet of gas per day.
El Molla said the Italian company Eni aims to provide 900 million cubic feet of gas per day to the national grid by the end of this year or during the first quarter of 2018, with the aim of increasing the production rate to 2.7 billion cubic feet by 2020.
The Zohr field’s investments are estimated at $12bn until the production begins and they will increase to $16bn afterwards. The ministry estimated the actual needs of of natural gas in the domestic market—including “homes, cars, and factories”—at about 7 billion cubic feet per day.