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Cairo about to become LNG exporter

Monday 25 June 2018 11:55 AM

LNG Facility in Damietta
LNG Facility in Damietta

Egypt may have just issued its last LNG tender, setting the stage to resume exports next year.
Imports of liquefied natural gas may stop in the fourth quarter, allowing for exports to start early next year as Eni SpA’s Zohr and other gas fields boost production in the country and help to draw more foreign investment, Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Tarek El-Molla said. The final LNG import tender was issued to cover third quarter domestic requirements, and the fourth quarter should be “imports-free,” he said.

“I don’t think there will be more tenders beyond this, I think this is it,” El-Molla said Saturday in an interview in Vienna.“Local production should cover our needs.”

Egypt has to import liquefied gas at high costs to meet its energy needs, with traders from Glencore PLC to Trafigura Group Pte Ltd. winning tenders to supply the fuel in past years. However, Eni’s discovery of Zohr in August 2015 has the potential to satisfy much of the nation’s demand and may even transform the country into having a surplus of supplies.

The giant Zohr field will increase gas production to 1.7 billion cubic feet (about 48.14 million cubic meters) a day by August from 1.2 billion cubic feet (about 34 million cubic meters), the energy minister said. Egypt’s total output is 6 billion cubic feet (about 169.9 million cubic meters) a day, and that should increase to 6.5 billion cubic feet (about 184 cubic meters) by September, he said.