Egypt targets ambitious 7.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2021/22
London, March 15, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Egypt aims to produce 7.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in the 2021-2022 financial year which starts in July, the petroleum ministry said on Sunday.
The ministry had said in December that production levels in the calendar year 2020 were at around 6.6 billion cubic feet per day, which covered local needs and provided some for export.
Reuters reports that Egypt holds 77 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven gas reserves as of 2017, ranking 16th in the world and accounting for about 1% of the world’s total natural gas reserves of 6,923 Tcf. Egypt has proven reserves equivalent to 37.9 times its annual consumption
Gas production has boomed since Italy’s Eni discovered the giant Zohr field off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast in 2015.
The country is trying to position itself as an energy hub in the eastern Mediterranean, importing gas from Israel and exporting to Jordan and potentially to Europe and Asia.
Meanwhile, Egypt is on the path to achieve self-sufficiency in oil products by 2023 after it became self-sufficient in natural gas in 2018, an info graph by the cabinet’s media centre showed on Sunday.
This was attributed to the great attention paid by the state to the energy sector, becoming a key driver for economic growth.
The report noted that the state developed an overall strategy to achieve self-sufficiency of petroleum products.
This strategy is based on increasing oil exploration and production activities, developing the refining industry, diversifying energy sources, and carrying out projects that focus on reducing fuel consumption, it added.
The report stated that foreign investments in the Egyptian petroleum sector rose by 5.4% in FY2019/20 to register $7.8 billion, compared with $7.4 billion in FY2014/15.
The report also indicated that local investments in this promising sector went up by 90.9% in FY2019/20, hitting $12.6 billion, compared to $6.6 billion in FY2014/15.
According to the report, Egypt’s exports of oil products soared by 95% to stand at $3.9 billion in FY2019/20, versus $2 billion in FY2014/15, while the country’s imports declined by 53.3% to reach $4.3 billion in FY2019/20, against $9.2 billion in FY2014/15.
In addition, the domestic consumption of natural gas rose by 27.7% to record 60 billion cubic metres in FY2019/20, compared to 47 billion cubic metres in FY2014/15, while the country’s consumption of oil products decreased by 27.6%, reaching 27.5 million tonnes in FY2019/20, against 38 million tonnes in FY2014/15, the report said.
The report indicated that several international economic institutions and credit rating agencies praised the Egyptian government’s efforts to attract further investments in the oil and gas sectors.
In this regard, the World Bank said that the oil and gas sectors would see more foreign direct investments, backed by the expansion in exploration and production agreements with global petroleum companies.
The report pointed out that the oil refining industry attracted public investments worth $2.6 billion in FY2019/20, compared to $0.6 billion in FY2014/15.
Egypt’s production of petroleum products surged by 16.5%, hitting 29.7 million tonnes in FY2019/20, versus 25.5 million tonnes in FY2014/15, the report stated.
The report demonstrated that the country’s production of oil refineries hit 23.7 million tonne