The Zohr field is one of the largest natural gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea. Image courtesy of Petrojet.
The Zohr field’s gas output reached 2.7 billion cubic feet per day in August 2019. Image courtesy of Petrojet.
The gas processing plant for the Zohr gas field is located at El-Gamil, Egypt.

The Zohr gas field located in the Shorouk Block, Mediterranean Sea, is the biggest gas discovery in Egypt as well as in the Mediterranean Sea.

The offshore gas field is operated by Belayim Petroleum Company (Petrobel), a 50:50 joint-venture between Italian oil and gas major Eni and state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC).

Petrobel operates the field on behalf of Petroshorouk, which is a joint venture between Eni, Rosneft, BP, Mubadala Petroleum, and Egyptian Natural Gas holding Company (EGAS).

The Zohr gas field was discovered in August 2015, while the final investment decision (FID) on its development was made in February 2016.

The field was brought on stream in December 2017, while its production capacity reached 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcfd) in August 2019. The capacity is planned to be increased further to 3.2Bcfd by 2020.

Location and site details

The Zohr field is spread over 100km2 within the offshore Shorouk Block, approximately 190km away from Port Said, Egypt.

The water depth in the field area is approximately 1,500m.

Zohr gas field reserves

The Zohr field’s reservoir extends for more than 4,100m beneath the sea bed. The offshore gas field is estimated to contain up to 30 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of recoverable gas reserves.

Production and processing infrastructure

The Zohr gas field is currently developed with 13 production wells, while a total of more than 200 wells are planned to be drilled over the field’s production life.

The field’s gas production is controlled by a shallow water platform that weighs 6,000 tonnes (t) and is located in 85m-deep waters, approximately 65km away from the coast.

The subsea installations at the field include manifolds, tie-in systems, subsea and topside control systems, and pressure protection system.

The gas produced by the field is transported through two 216km-long and 30in-diameter pipelines connecting to an onshore gas treatment facility at El-Gamil. The onshore gas processing facility comprises eight gas production trains along with sulphur production units.

Eni’s divestment in the Shorouk Block

Eni has reduced its participating interest in the Shorouk Block by 50% since the Zohr field discovery in August 2015.

BP purchased a 10% participating interest in the Shorouk Concession for £300m ($375m) from Eni in February 2017.

Eni sold a 30% stake in the Shorouk Concession to Rosneft for approximately £860m ($1.1bn) in October 2017.

Eni held a 60% participating interest when the field came on stream in December 2017.

Further in June 2018, Eni sold a 10% stake for £707.5m ($934m) to Mubadala Petroleum, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Investment Company.

Offshore contractors for Zohr gas field

Saipem was awarded the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) contracts for the Zohr field development project in multiple phases between 2016 and 2019. The scope of the work included basic design and installation of subsea pipelines, umbilicals, risers, and flowlines.

Petroleum Marine Services (PMS), an Egyptian offshore construction and marine service company, was engaged as a major subcontractor for the project by Saipem.

UTEC, a subsidiary of Acteon, provided Saipem its Teledyne Gavia Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) for trench monitoring services for the project.

OneSubsea, a subsidiary of Schlumberger, was awarded a £120m ($170m) contract to provide subsea production systems for the first phase of the project development in June 2016.

Baker Hughes, a subsidiary of GE, secured the contract to provide subsea production systems for the phase two development of the Zohr gas field in September 2017.

Petrojet manufactured the offshore control platform for the Zohr field at its marine manufacturing yard in Alexandria, Egypt.

Vessels used for the Zohr field development

The Saipem 10000 ultra-deep water drill ship was used for exploratory drilling at the field in 2015, while the other vessels used by Saipem for the field development included pipelayer vessel CastorOne, offshore support vessel Normand Maximus, and pipelay crane vessel Saipem 7000.

Onshore contractors

Siemens was contracted to supply gas processing equipment including three SGT-400 industrial gas turbine-generator sets for the El-Gamil gas treatment facility in October 2016.

Kinetics Technology, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont, provided sulphur recovery units for the project, while Germany-based GEA supplied refrigeration systems for the sulphur recovery units.

Frames Separation Technologies supplied filter coalescers and heat exchangers for the El-Gamil gas plant.Unidro supplied a water desalination unit, a condensate package, and lean amines filtration units for the gas processing facility.

Giza Systems, a company based in Egypt, provided the security and telecommunication systems for the Zohr gas field.