A report published Monday on the Financial Times said industry analysts expect Zohr — which has been described as a "supergiant" gasfield off the coast of Egypt containing an estimated 30tn cubic feet of gas — to be the biggest hydrocarbons project approved in 2016.
It is the largest gasfield ever discovered in the Mediterranean, the paper added.
Wood Mackenzie, an energy consultancy, said in a report this year that the development of Zohr, now being fast-tracked by Eni, the Italian energy group, would cost an estimated $14bn, and once natural gas started flowing, it was likely to prove “transformational” for the Egyptian market.
Zohr is welcome news for a country which last year changed from being a gas exporter to a gas importer.
Eni believes Zohr will start production in 2017 and reach 2.6bn cubic feet of gas per day by 2019. In 2015, Egypt produced 4.4bn cubic feet per day, says Wood Mackenzie.
Egypt aims to transform itself into an export hub for gas-producing countries in the eastern Mediterranean.