Italy's Eni discovers potentially one of "world's largest" natural gas fields off the Egyptian coast

Jessica Morris
Follow Jessica
Eni's chief exec Descalzi previously warned oil prices could hit $200 per barrel (Source: Getty)

Italian oil and gas company Eni today said it's discovered a "super-giant" natural-gas field off the Egyptian coast and it could be one of largest in the world.

Eni said the discovery, at its Zohr prospect, was the largest discovery ever made in the Mediterranean Sea. It potentially holds 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas, equivalent to 5.5bn barrels of oil according to the well and geophysical data.

The company's chief executive Claudio Descalzi has held talks with Egyptian government officials including president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. He also stressed the find validates Eni's strategy of only exploring mature areas of countries it's familiar with.

"This outstanding result confirms our expertise and our technological innovation capacity with immediate operational application, and above all shows the strength of the cooperation spirit amongst all the company’s units which are at the foundation of our great successes," Descalzi, said.

Read more: Oil analysts predict price spikes as early as 2016

"Our exploration strategy allows us to persist in the mature areas of countries which we have known for decades and has proved to be winning, reconfirming that Egypt has still great potential."

A supply glut has hammered global oil prices which have more than halved since June last year to around $50 per barrel today. This has heaped pressure of oil companies which have had to make job cuts and scale back their biggest, most expensive projects. Eni made a net loss of €2.34bn (£167bn) in the last quarter of 2014.

Descalzi has previously warned that mismanagement by OPEC could send oil prices as high as $200 per barrel within the next 10 years. He later heaped criticism on the cartel for being neither willing nor able to control global oil prices.

Related articles