The Italian energy company Eni SpA announced on Sunday that it has discovered a “supergiant” natural gas field off Egypt’s coast.
The field was 1,450m (4,757 feet) beneath the surface and covered 100 sq km (39 sq miles) according to Eni. It could hold possibly 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, or 5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, the company said.
It is believed as the “largest-ever” found in the Mediterranean Sea, and meet Egypt’s natural gas demand for decades.
“This historic discovery will be able to transform the energy scenario of Egypt,” the chief executive of Eni, Claudio Descalzi said.
“It’s a very useful positive economic factor in Egypt,” Angus Blair of investment advisory firm Signet said.
“Obviously it will help President (Abdel-Fattah) el-Sissi and the government, but to look at it very practically, and economically, it has just come at a very good time,” he added.
The president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has made energy projects as a priority in his legitimacy on fixing the economy.
Last March, he signed a $4.6 billion contract with Germany’s Siemens AG to build a new 4.4 GW(gigawatt) power plant in southern Egypt and generate 2 GW of wind power.
This new gas discovery would be used not only to generate electricity but also fuel industry.
Hoever, it is also believed that it will take years to develop the gas field.
Petroleum Ministry spokesman Hamdi Abdelaziz said the monetary value of the gas has yet to be determined, but that it would be extracted for domestic consumption only.
“We hope to become self-sufficient by 2020,” he said.