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Egypt Pays Energy Giant Eni $630 Million for Development of the Mediterranean's Largest Gas Field

Egypt's Central Bank announced that they paid Italy's oil giant Eni $630 million in January, while announcing the selling of a 10% stake in the Zohr gas field to BP for around $500 million.

Egypt's central bank paid $630 million to Italian energy giant Eni in January. The announcement was made on Tuesday by the bank's sub-governor, Rami Aboul Naga, in a statement to MENA news agency.

Eni has been developing the massive Zohr gas field, which was discovered off Egypt's Mediterranean coast in 2015. The field, which is the largest in the Mediterranean with an estimated reserve of 850 billion cubic meters of gas, is set to start production by the end of 2017, Al Ahram reports.

The payment comes as part of Egypt's commitment to meet its obligation of paying $3.5 billion owed to foreign oil companies. Egypt's total external debt currently stands at $60 billion, almost $4 billion more than the same period last year.

On Monday, the Egyptian government held a signing ceremony in celebration of the completion of a deal between Eni and British Petroleum Company (BP) regarding the Zohr field. The deal was initially agreed upon last December and grants BP a 10% stake in the giant Zohr field for around $500 million.

(Photo by Foreign Policy Journal)