Egyptian natural
gas “’ ready for
export by pipeline
Cairo, Egypt — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 20 January 2011 – Egypt’s state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) intends offering up 19 areas for exploration this year by way of international tenders, according to newspaper reports this week.

“It is planned to offer 17 areas to search for gas in the Mediterranean Sea, plus two land areas in the Nile Delta,” al-Masry al-Youm newspaper reports, citing the head of the company, Mahmoud Latif, as revealing this during a company meeting.

The company expects a 7% increase in domestic consumption of gas to 35.5Mt in the 2010/2011 fiscal year, the paper quoted an EGAS report as saying.

Egypt has emerged as a significant natural gas producer in the past decade, swiftly developing mainly offshore Mediterranean gas reserves. It exported its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) early in 2005, and boosted foreign sales by pipeline.

Proven reserves soared to 2.19 trillion cub m the end of 2009 from 1.22 trillion 10 years earlier, and just 0.35 trillion in 1989, according to BP’s 2010 Statistical Review of World Energy.

Hopes for a step-change in exports grew in July when Egypt signed a US$9 billion deal for BP and RWE Dea to develop two fields near the port city of Alexandria on terms that made deepwater Mediterranean drilling more commercially appealing.