CAIRO, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's Petroleum Ministry announced the discovery of a new natural gas well in the country's western desert, reported the state-owned MENA news agency on Wednesday.
The output is expected to produce 20 million cubic feet per day. Following development, it is expected to hit 60 million cubic feet per day, MENA cited a report by Badr El Din Petroleum Company (BAPETCO).
The report, received on Wednesday by Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tareq al-Molla, said that the discovery influenced Royal Dutch Shell to dig nine exploratory wells in 2017.
In August, Royal Dutch Shell announced new natural gas discoveries in a concession area in the northern Alam El Shawish in Egypt's western desert.
The initial quantities discovered were estimated at around half a trillion cubic feet of gas with more potential reserves.
The discovery could produce between 10 to 15 percent of the total production of BAPETCO, which is a joint venture acting on behalf of the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Shell in production operations.
Once an energy exporter, Egypt has become a net importer in recent years, pressed by decreased production and increased consumption.
Egypt's domestic gas production currently stands at around 4.35 billion cubic feet per day compared with around 5.2 billion in consumption, said the oil minister.
However, Egypt is recovering as a gas exporter soon after the recent discoveries across the country.
Furthermore, Italian oil company Eni said its Nooros field in Egypt's Nile Delta, currently producing 900 million cubic feet of gas per day, will exceed 1 billion cubic feet per day in the first quarter of 2017.
Eni's large Mediterranean gas field Zohr, discovered in August 2015 with estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, is expected to start production in 2017 with about 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day.