Claudio Desclazi, Chairman and CEO of Eni, and Tariq El Molla, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, met during the ADIPEC event in Abu Dhabi to discuss plans to speed up new projects in Egypt to boost output and put the country on track to become energy self-sufficient.

El Molla remarked during the conference that resuming the operation of the Damietta liquefied natural gas plant and export activity will be a critical milestone in the country’s transformation into a regional energy hub. The oil and gas firm will be able to operate more efficiently as a result of the collaboration between Eni and the government.

Eni made three fresh oil and gas discoveries in the Western Desert of Egypt’s Meleiha and South-West Maleiha concessions in late October, with an estimated 50 million barrels of oil equivalent hydrocarbons in place. According to a production test, the well can produce 2,000 barrels of light oil and seven million standard cubic feet of associated gas per day.

In a press statement, the company said: “Eni is continuing to pursue its successful near-field, infrastructure-led exploration strategy in the Egyptian Western Desert through Agiba, a joint venture between Eni and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, which allows a quick valorization of these new resources.”

With Egypt steadily ramping up its oil output in recent years, the move to boost cooperation positions the country to become a major oil and gas exporter, with the new discovery expected to make Egypt self-sufficient in oil by 2023.