Sasol Commercial Manager: Zohr 2017 Start-up Doubtful

Eni S.p.A will struggle to bring the massive Zohr discovery online by 2017, despite its CEO claiming otherwise, according to a presentation by Sasol Petroleum International Commercial Manager Stephen Trueblood at the Opportunities & Risks in the Middle East & the Levant event, held by the Finding Petroleum team at The Geological Society in London.

Addressing members of the oil and gas industry in his presentation, Trueblood said:

“[At the] beginning of this month…Mr Descalzi, the CEO of Eni, went straight down to Cairo…and said we will have this [Zohr] on-stream with gas flowing in to Egypt by the end of 2017…If they can do that…I will be really impressed. If the Italians can get this thing flowing by the end of 2017.”

Commenting on some of the challenges the discovery presents, Trueblood stated in his presentation:

“It is a long way from shore. It is one well…It may well be 30 Tcf [Trillion Cubic Feet] but it is 30 Tcf with a single well in 1500 metres [4,921 feet] of water a long way from shore.”

Eni announced August 30 that it had made the “world class supergiant gas discovery”, which, according to the well and seismic information available at the time, could hold a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas in place (5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in place). Zohr is the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt, and in the Mediterranean Sea, and could become one of the world’s largest natural-gas finds.

Trueblood also talked about Egypt’s shale gas potential at the Opportunities & Risks in the Middle East & the Levant event and suggested that the country may be viable for shale oil and gas. Commenting in his presentation, Trueblood said:

“This is a place where, genuinely, I think unconventionals might work…this is a place where, if it takes off, it really could be very successful.”

A graduate in journalism from Cardiff University, Andreas has eight years of experience as a business journalist. Email Andreas at


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