Italian energy group Eni said on Sunday it had discovered potentially one of the world's largest natural-gas fields off the Egyptian coast, predicting the find could help meet Egypt's gas needs for decades to come.
"According to the well and geophysical data available, the field could hold a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet of lean gas in place," Eni said in a statement.
It said the discovery well was located off Egypt's Mediterranean coastline at a depth of 1,450 metres (4,757 ft) with the prospective Zohr field covering an area of about 100 square kilometers (60 square miles).
"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," it said, adding that it had full concession rights to the area.
The find follows other significant gas discoveries in the Mediterranean in recent years, including by Egypt's neighbor Israel, which look certain to have a dramatic impact on energy supplies in both the Middle East and Europe.