Italian major Eni and the Egyptian authorities have struck a deal that aims to maximise gas production and liquefied natural gas exports from the North African nation.

The move comes at a time when Europe, and Italy in particular, are scouring the world to secure gas supplies that can replace piped imports from Russia, and just days after Algeria agreed to boost gas exports to Italy.

An agreement signed in Cairo by Magdy Galal, chairman of Egypt’s state gas company Egas and Guido Brusco, Eni’s recently appointed chief operating officer of natural resources, aims to “promote Egyptian gas export to Europe, and specifically to Italy, in the context of the transition to a low carbon economy.”

The parties agreed to commercialise Egyptian gas reserves by increasing jointly operated gas activities and identifying opportunities to maximise short-term gas production.

Eni — which operates the huge Zohr gas field — will also look to optimise its exploration campaigns in existing blocks and in newly acquired acreage in the Nile Delta, Eastern Mediterranean and Western Desert regions.

This agreement, said Eni, together with a deal signed last year for the restart of Damietta liquefaction plant, will generate up to 3 billion cubic metres of LNG cargoes in 2022 for the Italian major.

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