Alexandria 2 oil fields to make Egypt regional energy center: minister

Egypt's two newly discovered oil fields, Zohr and North Alexandria, which will start production in 2017, will help make Egypt a regional center for energy and gas, Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tareq el Molla said.

Egypt hopes to achieve self-sufficiency in the period between 2020 and 2022 and to decline imports and become a regional energy center, Molla told MENA correspondent here prior to his departure.

The "Zohr" field will start production in the end of 2017 from 700 million to 1,000 million cubic feet daily to rise to 2,700 cubic feet daily in 2019, the minister said.

Egypt imports liquefied natural gas to fill its shortage over the past two years, he said, adding that factories that have stopped production due to gas shortage started operation, including fertilizer, steel and petrochemical plants.

Another field was discovered in northern Alexandria and will start production in mid 2017 with 450 million cubic feet daily to reach 1.2 billion cubic feet daily in 2019, he added.

Foreign investments in the petroleum and mineral resources sector hit $7.8 billion in 2014/2015 focused on oil and gas exploration, production and development, he said.

They are expected to reach something between $8 billion and $8.5 billion in 2015/2016, Molla said.

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