For the first time in this fiscal year, after facing several dips, gas production in Egypt has been upped. The current daily production rates stand at 4.65bn cubic feet of gas, as opposed to 4.75bn last week.
The production increase will positively affect the electricity sector, which is the largest consumer of gas, according to an official at the state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS).
About 150m cubic feet per day of gas production was added to increase rates and to compensate for natural declines in wells.
It is estimated that the rate of natural decline in the productivity of wells stands at 100m cubic feet of gas per month, according to the official.
Currently, power plants obtain about 80% of Egypt’s natural gas production, an equivalent of about 3.1bn cubic feet (89m cubic metres) per day, which represents the maximum pumping rate at the current moment, the official added.
The remaining 20% of gas production, about 1.65bn cubic feet per day, is split among others between the industrial sector, the railway sector, small and medium industries, and home consumers.
Egypt’s gas production dropped to 4.75bn cubic feet per day during the current fiscal year, compared with 5.85bn last year, as a result of the slowdown in development and exploration by foreign partners in the oil sector. Foreign parties hold investments due to the government’s delay in paying back its dues to these partners, which have amounted to $6.3bn, according to the official.
Power cuts now last two hours at most, after the Ministry of Petroleum decided to increase the quantities of gas pumped to power plants to about 89m cubic metres per day this week compared to about 86m metres before last Thursday.
Power stations now receive 27,000 tonnes of fuel oil per day as opposed to 23,000 tonnes last week, in addition to 3,000 tonnes of diesel, according to the official.
The total amount being pumped to power stations is now 121m cubic metres (4.27bn feet) of gas and gas equivalents compared to 116m metres (4.1bn feet) over the past week. The actual requirement for these stations is about 125m metres (4.41bn feet) of gas and gas equivalents daily.
The EGAS official added that about 1bn cubic feet of gas has been reduced for the industrial sector and exports, so that fuel can be provided for power plants in light of declining production across Egypt.