Italy’s Eni to drill first exploratory well in Noor field this week
Eni, Tharwa to begin Noor field drilling this week: Italy’s Eni and Egypt’s Tharwa Petroleum will reportedly begin drilling this week their first exploratory well in the offshore Noor gas field in North Sinai, an unnamed EGAS official tells Reuters. Eni had signed a USD 105 mn concession agreement with the government last month to begin exploration activities in the East Mediterranean field alongside Tharwa Petroleum, which holds a 15% stake in Noor.
Expectations are high: Eni, which holds an 85% stake in the field, denied in recent months reports claiming that it had discovered 90 tcf of reserves there, or 3x as much as the supergiant Zohr field. The company signed two other agreements with the government last month for exploration in the Nile Delta and Western Desert. Oil Minister
On a related note: Egypt’s gas production is expected to record strong growth on the both the short- and long-terms as “several major offshore development[s] ramp up output over 2018,” according to a report from Fitch carried by Rigzone. Oil Minister El Molla had previously said that Egypt would reach natural gas self-sufficiency and begin exports by January 2019, as gas fields including Zohr connect more capacities to the national grid. “As production exceeds domestic demand, we see the potential for gas to be exported via LNG to European and Middle Eastern markets, where LNG demand is expected to rise over the long-term,” the report notes.
Strong international interest: Egypt signed last week new exploration agreements worth more than USD 1 bn with Shell and Malaysia’s Petronas, as well as Rockhopper, Kuwait Energy and Canada’s Dover Corporation. A delegation from Petronas also met with El Molla last week to explore new opportunities to expand its business in Egypt