Eni plans to invest $7.7 billion in the Egyptian energy sector over the next four years, as the Italian energy firm seeks to expand in the country.
The announcement came after the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi met with chief executive Claudio Descalzi and a delegation of senior officials from Eni on Sunday. El Sisi’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla also attended the meeting.
Mr Descalzi said these investments are part of Eni’s commitment to further enhance the company's successful projects in Egypt. The investments will be carried out by Eni as well as its partners in Egypt.
During the meeting, Mr Descalzi reviewed Eni’s exploration plans in Egypt over the next four years with Mr El Sisi. Mr Desclazi also lauded Eni’s partnership with Egypt and highlighted the friendly ties between Egypt and Italy, according to a statement from the Egyptian presidency. The meeting comes a week after Mr El Sisi met with the chief executive of BP, Bernard Looney, after which, the company pledged to invest $3.5 billion in Egypt over the next three years along with its partners.
Eni is currently the largest producer of energy in Egypt, according to the company’s website. It operates more than 18,712 square kilometres of developed and undeveloped areas, where it has been working since 1954.
The company has an equity production of hydrocarbons of approximately 350,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day. According to the Egyptian presidency’s spokesman, the discovery of the offshore Zohr gasfield in 2015 allowed Egypt to reach gas self-sufficiency in 2018.
The field, located in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Eni operates and has some of its most valuable assets, has 650 million boe of proven reserves as of 2022.
In January, the company discovered the Nargis-1 well, also in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
In 2021, the company launched a feasibility study into producing green hydrogen in Egypt after it signed an agreement with the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) to assess the technical and commercial feasibility of the project.
The results of the study have not been announced by Eni.
Egypt’s energy sector has been a priority for the government which hopes to position the country as a regional energy hub.
However, the country's gas self-sufficiency was called into question in July due to repeated power cuts. Many Egyptians had thought power cuts were a thing of the past after repeated boasts from the government that the country had not only met local gas needs but that it had been exporting it as well.
In response to public criticism, several government officials phoned into various talk shows in July and August assuring the public that power would return.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in July that since power consumption had reached a record high, there was not enough natural gas available to feed the cutting-edge power stations built over the past decade.