December 17, 2017 / 6:53 AM / in 2 years

UPDATE 1-Initial Zohr output raises Egypt's natural gas production to 5.5 bln cubic feet daily-minister

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CAIRO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Output from Egypt’s giant offshore Zohr gas field in the Mediterranean will raise Egypt’s natural gas production to 5.5 billion cubic feet per day from 5.1 billion daily, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla told Reuters on Sunday.

The petroleum ministry said on Saturday that the mammoth field has begun an initial production of 350 million cubic feet per day.

Production from Zohr is set to increase to around 1 billion cubic feet per day by mid-2018, the Petroleum ministry said earlier this month.

Discovered in 2015 by Italy’s Eni, the field contains an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Egypt’s own natural gas output rose to about 5.1 billion cubic feet per day in 2017 from 4.4 billion cubic feet in 2016 with the start of production from the first phase of BP’s North Alexandria project.

The country has been seeking to speed up production from recently discovered fields, with an eye to halting imports by 2019 and achieving self-sufficiency. (Reporting by Abdel Rahman Adel and Ehab Farouk; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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