'Largest-ever' Gas Field in Mediterranean Discovered Off Egypt, Italian Energy Giant Eni Says

Eni says after full development, the discovery will be able to ensure satisfying Egypt's natural gas demands 'for decades.'

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The Italian energy company Eni SpA announced Sunday it has discovered a "supergiant" natural gas field off Egypt, describing it as the "largest-ever" found in the Mediterranean Sea.

The news came a day after Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi met in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the Egyptian leader's office said.

Eni said the discovery — made in its Zohr prospect "in the deep waters of Egypt" — could hold a potential 850 billion cubic meters of gas over an area of 100 square kilometers (38.6 square miles).

"Zohr is the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea and could become one of the world's largest natural gas finds," Eni said in a statement. "The discovery, after its full development, will be able to ensure satisfying Egypt's natural gas demand for decades."

Descalzi was quoted by Eni as saying that the discovery reconfirms that "Egypt still has great potential" energy-wise. He said "important synergies with the existing infrastructures can be exploited, allowing us a fast production startup."

Eni has been in Egypt since 1954 through its subsidiary IEOC. It's the main hydrocarbon producer in Egypt, with a daily equity production of 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent, the company said.