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Experimental operation at the giant Zohr gas field started on Saturday, Egypt’s minister of petroleum and mineral resources Tareq Al-Mulla said.
The gas will be pumped from the gas field to the land-based gas processing facility in Al-Jameel area in the Port Said for treatment and further distribution to the national gas network at a 350 million cubic feet of gas per day initially.
The completion of the first phase of the project is planned for June 2018, Al-Mulla said adding that the production would gradually reach one billion cubic feet per day.
This would push Egypt towards self-sufficiency as well as reducing the import bill, he said.
Upon completion of the first phase, the second phase will start with a scheduled finish by the end of 2019. At full production, the project will be producing 2.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.
With a potential of 850 billion cubic meters of gas in place, the Zohr field discovered in 2015 by the Italian energy giant Eni, will be able to meet almost all of the total domestic gas demand for the coming decades, and it will also allow Egypt to return to being a net energy exporter.