The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources began the pilot operation of Eni’s Zohr field, according to a press release by the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla.
El-Molla said that the wells were opened and the experimental production of the field began on Friday to test the lines and the natural gas processing plant. The timing of the actual operation of the field is expected to be announced after the experimental operation of the treatment plant.
The minister announced earlier this week the success of the operation of the two burners at the onshore treatment plant in Zohr field, adding that the gas has been pumped from the national gas grid to the station in order to test the line, in preparation for the pilot operation in the first phase of the Zohr development plan to produce 350mcf per day.
He pointed out that the implementation procedures of the project are carried out in accordance with the time schedule and will start production before the end of this year, then complete the first phase and begin gradual production increase to mid-2018.
El-Molla said in previous remarks last month that Zohr field will begin production this month with a capacity of 350mcf per day, noting that the progress has reached 91%.
Eni will begin early production by the end of this year and is set to reach 1bcf by the end of 2018, then 2.7bcf per day by the end of 2019 after digging 14 more wells.
The total investments of Zohr amounts to $12bn and will increase to $16bn throughout project lifetime.
Development investments for the first phase, specifically exploration activities, of the project are estimated at $3.8bn in the fiscal year 2016/2017, while the total development investments will reach $8bn by the end of 2017/2018.
Egypt produces about 5.2bcf of gas per day. About 300mcf are used within the gas field to operate the extraction equipment, while the remainder is directed to the local market, according to previous data from the Ministry of Petroleum.