Egypt Hopes To Restart LNG Exports By 2020: Where Will The Gas Come From?

Cash-strapped Egypt is dealing with a natural gas deficit but as output rebounds and key fields come online it hopes to end LNG imports by the end of the decade.

Cairo says it will be able to restart LNG exports from its two mothballed terminals at Idku and Damietta on the Mediterranean coast at the beginning of the next decade, but questions remain whether new fields coming online and possible imports from Cyprus and Israel will be enough to meet growing demand.

Egypt’s gas output has turned a corner, hitting 4.45bn cfd in November, 500mn cfd up on six months earlier and the highest level since March 2015. But, even with further gains to come, 2016 output will still fall well short of projected 6bn cfd demand.

Oil Minister Tariq al-Mulla says the country will become energy self-sufficient by 2020-21. The planned start-up of Italian firm Eni’s 23 tcf Zohr field in December this year is the key element in a hoped-for gas surplus that may ultimately enable the restart of exports. But the likelihood that Zohr and BP’s 5 tcf West Nile Delta project, also due online later this year will boost output beyond demand still remains questionable, even if potential imports from Cyprus and Israel are also factored in. (CONTINUED - 1171 WORDS)