The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) is aiming to increase gas production rates in Egypt from 4.6bn to 4.7bn cubic feet per day by the end of the month, according to a senior official in the state-owned company.
He explained that 100m cubic feet of gas will be added to the daily output by the end of July as part of the Desouk project being undertaken with the German partner RWE, and the Italian oil and gas company Eni.
Production rates will not exceed 4.9bn cubic feet of gas until the end of this year, reflecting the continuing decline in the productivity of wells and small projects connected to the production line, according to the official.
Gas production in Egypt is experiencing a decline of an average of 100m cubic feet of gas per month. In order to compensate for the shortage, as well as increase long-term production rates, there would need to be additional projects created with greater production.
On Saturday, the daily fuel deficit in power plants amounted to 15m cubic metres of gas. With lower temperatures and a decrease in the demand for fuel at petrol stations, the deficit fell to 11m cubic metres on Tuesday, said the official.
EGAS is pumping approximately 104m cubic metres of gas and equivalents per day, however, the daily demand runs closer to 115m cubic metres of gas and electricity.
In an effort to reduce power cuts, the Ministry of Electricity and EGAS have agreed to increase the amount of gas that is pumped to power plants to a maximum of approximately 80m cubic metres per day through the month of Ramadan instead of the customary 75m.
The official said that EGAS cannot increase gas pumping rates because the company accounts for 70% of Egypt’s gas production in this period, and that the industrial sector would be negatively affected if gas supply was diverted towards home consumers.