Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla was on 15 December called to speak at parliament’s Energy and Environment Committees to answer lawmaker questions regarding recent activity in Egypt’s offshore. Quizzed as to why the ministry had yet to announce the Nargis gas find, made by US major Chevron in Egyptian waters, first reported by MEES (MEES, 2 December), the Minister told deputies that an official announcement would be made once appraisal work has been completed, although he did confirm the MEES report.

Mr Molla says that the ministry and Chevron are currently evaluating Nargis with a view to finalizing a development plan, which will be followed by an official announcement. Initial estimates provided to MEES by a source involved in the drilling operations puts the size of the discovery at 3.5tcf but as yet neither Chevron nor Egypt’s oil ministry have confirmed this figure. (CONTINUED - 146 WORDS)