Eni building up its position in Egypt

From an exploration license offshore to a contract extension near the Western Desert, Italian energy company Eni said it’s strengthening its position in Egypt.

Italian energy company Eni said it's building upon its legacy operations in Egypt. Photo courtesy of Eni
Italian energy company Eni said it’s building upon its legacy operations in Egypt. Photo courtesy of Eni

The company stated Tuesday that its plans to oversee an exploration license on the Nile Delta basin in the Egyptian waters of the Mediterranean Sea were approved by the government in Cairo. Dubbed Nour, an Arabic word meaning “light,” the company said it plans to start drilling in the second half of this year.

“This new acquisition further strengthens Eni’s position in Egypt, an area of historic and strategic importance for the company,” its statement read.

Elsewhere, the company said it received a 10-year extension to existing exploration rights in the same region and a five-year extension to drilling rights in the Western Desert basin.

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Classified as the Great Nooros area, Eni said the field is already producing about 215,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Known more for offshore gas resources, Egyptian oil prospects are quickly catching up. The Italian energy company in July declared a second oil discovery in the Western Desert. It’s located about 4 miles away from an earlier discovery was already producing about 5,100 barrels of oil per day when it was declared.

Assuming the price for Brent crude oil at $60 per barrel, Eni expects to produce on average 1.9 million barrels of oil equivalent per day this year, a 4 percent increase from last year.

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Among its key assets, the Italian company said it started new processing units at its Zohr field in Egypt with additional startups scheduled for September. The project is producing about 1.1 billion cubic feet per day and the acceleration followed a start date in December.

Growth elsewhere would be derived from new start ups from last year and support from the giant Kashagan oil field off the coast of Kazakhstan and the Goliat field in Norway.

ByDaniel J. Graeber