Egypt Petroleum Show saw the opening of its third edition on Monday as the country hurtles towards becoming a regional energy hub on back of increasing gas production.
Mustafa Kemal Madbouly, Prime Minister of Egypt inaugurated the Egypt Petroleum Show (EGYPS) on behalf of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, on Monday amid ambitious plans for developing the national oil and gas industry.
The country’s economic reform in recent years has topped the government’s agenda to lay the groundwork for an improved future for the generations to come, Madbouly said.
“We passed the difficult stages of reforms so that we, and our future generations can enjoy the fruits of our labour,” he said, highlighting an improved economic condition of the country underlined by GDP growth of 5.5 per cent in the last quarter, compared to recent lows of 2 per cent.
“These results would not be possible without the focus on the oil and gas sector, which has provided the necessary impetus,” he said.
Egypt marked a milestone event in September 2018 by halting natural gas imports as domestic production surged from fields including four major projects in the Mediterranean Sea. The rate of production is set to rise to 6.5 billion cubic metres, he added.
Meanwhile, there are also plans to increase the number of producing oil and gas fields and set up more refineries.
“The government is confident this conference (EGYPS) is a good opportunity for Egypt and international companies to maximise investment collaboration in new technology and developing resources. Egypt is the land of promising opportunities,” Madbouly said.
Additionally, His Excellency Tarek EI Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Egypt said the that over the last four years, Egyptian citizens united to lay down a strong foundation for economic development. “We have reformed by embarking on major infrastructure projects…Egypt has made great strides towards economic reforms, which improved Egypt rating for international institutions,” he said.
A game-changing gas find in the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 - Zohr gas field, has estimated reserves of 30 trillion cubic feet of gas has set Egypt on a new energy course.
While production from the Zohr field in late 2014 started at 350,000 cubic feet per day, this has been ramped up to 2 billion cubic feet (bcf) by August 2018. “This is one project we were able to establish and this is not the maximum - it will take 2019 to increase by 1 bcf to total 3bcf per day at the end of 2019,” El Molla said.
Egypt aims to utilise its strategic location and well-developed infrastructure to become a key international trading and distribution centre for gas. Plans are in place to turn gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG) through its underutilised liquefaction plants and ship or pipe gas to neighbouring countries and across the Mediterranean to Europe.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of Organization of the Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC) said that Egypt is becoming a regional energy hub already. “Over the years, it has made fast changes in its stride towards development.”