A large field (named Zohr) containing up to 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas has been discovered off the coast of Egypt. The Italian oil group Eni, owner of this field, says it is almost 5000 feet below the water surface and covers an area of about 40 square miles. Eni proposes that it be piped into Egypt for use.
The Telegraph.co.uk posting titled ‘Supergiant’ gas field discovered in Mediterranean” says:
“Egypt consumed 1.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas last year, according to BP’s most recent Statistical Review of World Energy. At the same rate of consumption, the Zohr discovery could supply the country for almost two decades.
Eni believes it can begin production as early as 2016. Eni will immediately appraise the field with the aim of accelerating a fast track development of the discovery, said the company, which has a 100pc interest in the area it has discovered.”
Some thoughts: One day Africa will become a major world supplier of crude and natural gas. A number of the African nations that surround the Mediterranean Sea have long been producers of oil and natural gas. Nigeria, on the West coast, is a very big player, too. And the potential for more new crude discoveries in Africa seems certain. Some examples:
The US Geological Survey estimates the area from East Africa’s coastal region and stretching out off-shore to the Seychelles holds 441 trillion cubic feet of natural gas which said to be twice as much as Saudi Arabia’s holdings. This survey area stretches northward from Mozambique up to Eritrea.
The price of energy, principally crude oil, surely drove these explorations. But now that Saudi Arabia seems bent on driving the US oil fackers out of business, the exploitation of these fields may have to wait a few years until Saudi backs away from their crude oil price lowering plan. As more and more easily obtainable supplies of crude and natural gas are found, maybe Saudi ought to recognize that OPEC’s years of setting crude oil prices are over.
Saudi crude price lowering plan is doing some collateral damage to Venezuela, Russia and other petro-states. So there is some merit to what Saudi is doing.
Rig work photo is by Bloomberg