Eni CEO: Zohr discovery could be larger than initially reported

Claudio Descalzi, the Chief executive officer of Italy’s largest oil company Eni, has said that giant gas discovery in Egypt, announced by Eni last week could be even larger than initially reported.

According to a Reuters report on Wednesday, Descalzi said that the Zohr discovery reserves estimates could increase by further drilling in the area.

To remind, announcing the discovery late in August, Eni said the find, largest ever in the Mediterranean, could hold a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas in place (5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place). Exploration is expected to resume in 2016.

As for the field development, Reuters has in a separate report cited Descalzi, who said that it would take up to $10 billion to bring the Zohr gas to production. He also added that the Italian oilfield services provider Saipem could play a significant role in the development.

The discovery itself last week stirred unrest in Israel, which had perceived Egypt as one of the customers for its natural gas from the Tamar and yet to be developed Leviathan offshore fields, and now sees the Zohr discovery as a threat to its gas exports.

Noble Energy, the operator of both Tamar and Leviathan fields, later dismissed the allegations saying the government of had Egypt publicly reiterated its support for the import of gas from Israel for both domestic and LNG export purposes. The company, however, called for the government of Israel to act quickly, and to enable the fast development of its offshore resources.

Offshore Energy Today Staff