Italian company Eni SpA has discovered an oil deposit of natural gas in front of the Egyptian coast.

It has been described as “gigantic”, the biggest ever found in the Mediterranean Sea.

The company made the announcement the day after meeting the Egyptian president, Abdel-Fatá El-Sisi, in El Cairo. This new deposit could contain 30 billions cubic feet of volume, covering an area of 100 square kilometres and it is situated at sea 190 kilometres off the Egyptian coast, at depth of 1.450 meters in the Shorouk block.

«Zohr is the largest gas discovery made to date in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea, and could become one of the findings of the world’s largest natural gas,» Eni sai
d in a statement. «The discovered deposit, once fully developed, will have capacity for decades to ensure the supply of natural gas for domestic demand of Egypt.»

«Eni promptly evaluated the site in order to accelerate the rapid development of the discovery,» the power company said.

Descalzi quoted by Eni said the discovery again confirms that «Egypt still has great potential» energetically.

He said «important synergies can be exploited with existing infrastructure, allowing us to start a fast extraction».

Eni carries out activities in Egypt since 1954 through its subsidiary IEOC. It is the leading oil company in Egypt, with a daily production equivalent to 200,000 barrels of oil, according to the company.

The Egyptian oil ministry said the discovery amounted to about a third of current gas reserves of the country.

«The Egyptian government is very pleased with this finding,» said ministry spokesman Hamdi Abdelaziz, adding that the extracted gas will be used only to domestic demand. «We are confident in achieving self-sufficiency by 2020».

«The government can not now establish the market value of the deposit discovered,» he said.