Egypt Oil Output Slump To Continue. Import Dependence To Deepen

Egypt is enjoying a gas output renaissance. It hopes to halt imports by end-2018 thanks to a surge in deepwater Mediterranean production. But the country’s oil output is sliding, whilst rising demand means the ‘oil deficit’ is rising even more quickly. New refining units will trim the import bill – but not by much.

The leap in Egypt’s gas output over the last 18 months has been spectacular – having slumped below 4bn cfd in mid-2016, by the end of 2017 output had rebounded to 5.6bn cfd, just shy of 6bn cfd demand ( MEES, 16 February ). Oil Minister Tariq al-Mulla’s target of achieving self-sufficiency, ending LNG imports, by end-2018 looks like a real possibility.

This has come thanks to a series of key gas discoveries in the deepwater Mediterranean – of which Eni’s 2015 Zohr gas find, which came online late last year, has been the largest ( MEES, 15 December 2017 ). The Mediterranean deepwater remains the focus of ongoing ‘high impact’ exploration in the country. But the expectations are that further discoveries will also be gas. (CONTINUED - 1489 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

chart Egypt’s Oil Deficit Set To Balloon From 180,000 B/D To Over 500,000 B/D By Early 2020s ('000 B/D)
chart Inversely Correlated, For Now: Egypt’s Oil Demand Soared, Peaking At 876,000 B/D In 2q16 As Gas Output Collapsed. It Has Since Fallen Back Amid More Plentiful Gas Supplies
table Egyptian Aging Refinery Fleet ('000 B/D)