Oil Minister Tarek El Molla on 16 January set out Egypt’s energy strategy for the five years to June 2021. The plan envisages offshore Mediterranean gas projects operated by Eni, BP and BG totaling 6bn cfd over this period.

Egypt’s gas output has been in freefall, hitting a 10-year low of 4.14bn cfd in November (MEES, 22 January). Though the new field startups will almost certainly reverse the decline, by exactly how much is a matter of debate. The 6bn cfd figure is gross, not net: output at many of Egypt’s existing offshore Mediterranean gas fields is in freefall (such as BG’s WDDM – see below), while the timeframe on new field start-up, and the volumes, is ambitious. That said, a rise in total Egyptian gas output of 6-7bn cfd by 2020 or 2021 looks like a realistic prospect. (CONTINUED - 1184 WORDS)