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Declining gas fields, a lack of investment and soaring demand will see Egypt swing from being a 13 bcm/year net gas exporter in 2010 to an 8 bcm importer this year. Output is falling by 12%/year. But “cheap LNG first, and the development of newly-discovered resources later, help drive a remarkable turnaround,” the IEA says in its latest Medium Term Gas Market report.
Egypt began LNG imports in May 2015. Volumes rose rapidly to an average of a cargo a week by the end of the year. More fundamentally, the August 2015 discovery by Italy’s Eni of the 23 tcf Zohr gas field in the deepwater Mediterranean, together with improved terms offered by Egypt to incentivize development of long-stalled projects will “likely eliminate the country’s need for imports” by 2021.
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