Egypt's Zohr gas reservoir estimate keeps growing

Zohr gas field

The estimates for the Egyptian gas reservoir Zohr keep growing, but development will be problematic because of sulfur deposits.

Israel's concerns regarding the size of the Egypt's Zohr field are being confirmed. Following the fourth drilling operation carried out by Italian company Eni, which discovered the field, estimates are that Zohr contains 32 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas, rather than 30 TCF as estimated previously. At the same time, and despite optimistic announcements by Eni and Egypt's EGAS saying that gas from the field will begin flowing by late 2017, there are still obstacles to overcome.

In August 2015, after reports on the field's discovery, various consulting firms, including HIS, estimated that the actual amount of gas that could be extracted from the field would amount to 77%, with an accuracy level of 25%. Therefore, the extractable reserves were estimated at a wide range of 17-27 TCF.

However, Eni has since completed three further drilling operations, which provide more reliable and comprehensive data regarding the reservoir its size, depth and the quality of the gas contained therein. As such, the company's current estimates regarding gas quantities significantly surpass the initial report. However, the company has failed to report on the extremely high percentage of sulfur in the field, which would make development more complicated. The high percentage of sulfur may require separate development for its extraction, raising costs. An additional difficulty would be to find a strategic partner for the reservoir. For several months, Eni has been unsuccessfully trying to find another gas company which will share the risks and costs of development, the first stage of which is estimated at $5 billion.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 25, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

Zohr gas field
Zohr gas field
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