Egyptian hydrocarbon reserves and production

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According to the 2012 BP Statistical Review, Egypt's proven oil reserves at the end of 2011 stood at 4.3 billion barrels, representing a 0.3 percent share of the global oil supply.[1] With an average production of 710,000 barrels per day (bpd), of which approximately 560,000 barrels was crude including condensates and the remainder natural gas liquids, Egypt is the biggest non OPEC oil-producer in Africa.[2]

After its production peak in the 1990s with over 900,000 bpd, Egypt's main oil fields matured and their output declined until 2007,[3] when exploration led to production from new, smaller fields, and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques slowed the decline of older fields.[4] But while oil production rose slightly in the late 2000s, local consumption increased so rapidly that Egypt became a net importer of oil, and consumption now outpaces production.[5]

Egypt's oil reserves are located mainly in the Gulf of Suez, the Nile Delta and the Eastern Desert. Most recent finds have been offshore in the Mediterranean and onshore in the Western Desert. Output in the Western Desert has doubled since 2000 and now constitutes around 30 percent of Egyptian oil production.[6]


Natural gas exploration in Egypt started relatively recently compared to oil. The country's gas reserves stood at approximately 2.2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in 1975 and increased to about 78 tcf by 2009, according to a 2011 Mediterranean Energy Perspectives report on Egypt.[7] With its 1.1 percent share of global production and an average annual output of 2.17 tcf by the end of 2011, Egypt is Africa's second largest producer of natural gas.[8]

More than 80 percent of reserves and 70 percent of production come from the Mediterranean Sea and Nile Delta, with the Abu Madi, Badreddin and Abu Qir fields accounting for about half of Egypt's total gas production. While the production of associated natural gas - gas mixed with extracted oil - has declined in recent years, most industry analysts, according to the EIA country profile, put Egypt's production on an upward trend in the short to medium term because of new non-associated gas finds.[9]

In 2010 Egypt exported around 40 percent of its natural gas production via pipelines and as LNG.[10] However, as Oil Minister Osama Kamal said in November 2012, the Egyptian industry will start to import gas for the first time in the second half of 2013, to meet rising local demand. As with oil, Egypt might therefore become a net gas importer by mid 2013.[11]


  1. "Statistical Review of World Energy 2012", BP, 2012.
  2. "EIA Country Profile" US Energy Information Administration, retrieved 1 March 2013.
  3. "EIA Country Profile", US Energy Information Administration, retrieved 1 March 2013.
  4. "Egyptian fields have large potential for enhanced oil recovery technology", Oil&Gas Journal, 10 January 2012.
  5. "Egypt's Natural Gas Trends and Potential Impacts" Energy Trends, 9 February 2011.
  6. "EIA Country Profile" US Energy Information Administration, retrieved 1 March 2013.
  7. "Mediterranean Energy Perspectives Egypt" Observatoire Méditerranéen de l'Energie, 2011.
  8. "Statistical Review of World Energy 2012", BP, 2012.
  9. "EIA Country Profile" US Energy Information Administration, retrieved 1 March 2013.
  10. "Egypt's Natural Gas Trends and Potential Impacts" The OilDrum, 14 February 2011.
  11. "Egypt Importing Gas for First Time as Exports Disappear", Bloomberg, 11 December 2012.