While much of the news lately has been largely dominated by the pandemic and oil production cuts to stabilize the markets, Egypt quietly announced that it has achieved its highest level of oil production since the 1950s.
The Al-Monitor website reports that Tarek el-Molla, the Egyptian minister responsible for petroleum and mineral resources, recently announced the country had exceeded 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil production for the first time since 1957.
While Egypt is perhaps not known as a large oil producer, it was one of the first countries to see drilling activity back in 1886. Commercial quantities were later found in the early 20th century.
While Egypt’s oil production pales in comparison to giants like Saudi Arabia, the US and Russia, it has recently benefitted from the spate of natural gas discoveries in the Mediterranean Sea, with Italian oil company Eni describing the Zohr field as its largest ever gas discovery. Eni and BP, the oil major behind Castrol lubricant products, also recently announced a further gas discovery in the Nile delta.
Egypt now outputs close to 700,000 barrels of crude oil and 1.1 billion cubic feet of gas each day. As it is not a member of OPEC or a participant in the OPEC+ deal, the country is not bound by production quotas.
When speaking to the General Assembly of the General Petroleum Company, el-Molla stressed the need to continue research, exploration and development for the country’s oil fields, as well as the need to establish the necessary infrastructure to sustain greater production.