Eni won two new offshore exploration licenses off Egypt’s coast, sharpening the company’s focus on the Mediterranean country, the Italian energy giant announced Monday.
Eni said it has won a 37.5 stake in the North El Hammad and North Ras El Esh blocks, covering covering a total 3,316 square kilometers.
Partners North El Hammad include British energy company BP with a 37.5 percent and French company Total with a 25 percent interest.
Eni landed a 50 percent interest in North Ras El Esh, where its partner BP (also granted a 50 percent interest) will act as an operator.
The two blocks, which will be managed by Eni’s subsidiary IEOC, are in the shallow waters of the Mediterranean, facing the Nile Delta and located southwest of the Temsah area and west of the Baltim area, where Eni operates existing fields and production facilities.
“These two new concession agreements follow the recent award of the deep water Karawan and North Leil blocks, strengthening Eni’s presence in Egypt, a country of historic and strategic importance” Eni said in a statement.
Eni announced in late August it had discovered the largest known gas field in the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast.
The Italian major predicts the Zohr field could hold 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, covering an area of about 100 square kilometres.
The International Monetary Fund said the Zohr field should help ensure economic growth for Egypt, which has become a net energy importer over the last few years as production has failed to keep up with domestic domand.
Egypt’s 3.5 billion dollar debts to foreign energy companies had made it increasingly difficult to attract major investments, but European countries are looking to diversify an energy sector that relies heavily on Russia for natural gas.
This article was from Adnkronos International, Rome and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.