Egypt pursues gas hub status

ENI SPA AND Egypt have agreed to widen their co-operation in the energy sector with the scope of eventually building a gas hub in the North African country. 

Eni Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni and Egypt's Minister of Petroleum, Amin Sameh Samir Fahmy, signed a strategic framework agreement in Milan Tuesday to develop joint initiatives the sector.  The agreement would reinforce Eni's co-operation with Egypt's state oil and gas companies, EGPC and EGAS.

EGPC and EGAS would participate in Eni's upstream oil and gas activities outside Egypt, such as Gabon and Iraq, where Eni is the lead company contracted to redevelop the large Zubair field near Basra in the south of the country.  In the agreement the ministry would try to secure rights for Eni to acquire gas-transportation capacity in the Arab Gas Pipeline system.

"The ... initiatives will form the foundation for developing a pre-eminent Mediterranean gas hub in Egypt," read the statement.

The Arab Gas Pipeline is a gas transport system through which Egypt exports gas to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

"The parties ... envisage flexibility to use this system for physical gas swaps and transportation of purchased gas to and from Egypt," it said.  The agreement follows the signing of a cooperation initiative in 2009.

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