February 12, 2020 / 1:02 PM / 4 months ago

Italy's Edison starts exploratory drilling for gas in Egypt

Cairo, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Italian energy group Edison has begun drilling an exploratory well in deepwater acreage in Egypt, not far from other giant east Mediterranean gas fields, the CEO of Israel-focused gas driller Energean said on Wednesday.

Energean is in the process of taking over Edison’s Egyptian assets in a deal reached last year.

“We’re drilling right now in North Thekah, a deep water exploration ... it started a couple weeks ago,” Energean CEO Mathios Rigas told reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference in Cairo.

North Thekah lies close to Egypt’s giant Zohr field, Cyprus’s Aphrodite and Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan fields.

Italian giant Eni’s Zohr field, with an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, is the largest ever discovered in the Mediterranean. It started production in late 2017.

Drilling would continue for 40-60 days, he said, depending on its success. “So the next 4-6 weeks we should have results.”

Energean, which is listed on both the London and Tel Aviv stock exchanges, has operations in the offshore Israel, Greece and the Adriatic, while Edison has assets in Italy, Algeria, Croatia, the British and Norwegian North Sea as well as Greece.

Reporting by Patrick Werr; Writing by Patrick Werr and Dahlia Nehme in Dubai; Editing by Louise Heavens

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