Energy in Egypt

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Energy in Egypt describes energy and electricity production, consumption and import in Egypt. Energy policy of Egypt describes the energy policy in the politics of Egypt more in detail.


Energy in Egypt[1]
Capita Prim. energy Production Export Electricity CO2-emission
Million TWh TWh TWh TWh Mt
2004 72.64 662 752 71 88 141
2007 75.47 782 957 153 111 169
2008 81.51 822 1,018 180 116 174
2009 83.00 837 1,026 174 123 175
2012 82.54 138 188
Change 2004-09 14.3  % 27 % 36 % 145 % 40 % 25 %
Mtoe = 11.63 TWh, Prim. energy includes energy losses

Egypt population has increased 14.3% in five years 2004-2009 (OECD/World Bank). Population growth is over 10 millions in 5 years. Energy production was in 2009 36% more than in 2004.[2]

Crude oil[edit]

Oil refining in Alexandria

Egypt is an important non-OPEC energy producer. It has the sixth largest proved oil reserves in Africa. Over half of these reserves are offshore reserves. Although Egypt is not a member of OPEC, it is a member of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.[3]

Commercial quantities of oil were first found in 1908, and more petroleum was found in the late 1930s along the Gulf of Suez. Later, large oil fields were discovered in the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Suez, the Western Desert, and the Eastern Desert. The Abu Rudeis and Ra's Sudr oil fields in the Sinai, captured by Israel in 1967, were returned to Egyptian control in November 1975, and the remaining Sinai oil fields reverted to Egyptian control by the end of April 1982. As of 2005, Egypt's proven oil reserves were estimated at 3.7 billion barrels (590×10^6 m3), of which 2.9 billion barrels (460×10^6 m3) was crude oil and 0.8 billion barrels (130×10^6 m3) were natural gas liquids.[3] Oil production in 2005 was 696,000 barrels per day (110,700 m3/d), (down from 922,000 barrels per day (146,600 m3/d) in 1996), of which crude oil accounted for 554,000 barrels per day (88,100 m3/d).[3]

Approximately 50% of Egypt's oil production comes from the Gulf of Suez, with the Western Desert, Eastern Desert, and the Sinai Peninsula as country's three other primary producing areas. Domestic consumption was estimated at 564,000 barrels per day (89,700 m3/d) in 2004. Net oil exports in that same year were estimated at 134,000 barrels per day (21,300 m3/d). The Suez Canal and the 322-kilometre (200 mi) Sumed pipeline from the Gulf of Suez to the Mediterranean Sea are two routes for oil from the Persian Gulf, which makes Egypt a strategic point of interest in world energy markets. Although the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has deepened the canal so that it can accommodate the largest bulk freight carriers, the canal was deepened a further 20 metres (66 ft) in 2006 to accommodate very large crude carriers (VLCCs).

As of 2005, Egypt operates nine refineries that are capable of processing crude oil at an estimated rate of 726,250 barrels per day (115,465 m3/d). The largest refinery is the El-Nasr facility located at Suez. It is able to process 146,300 barrels per day (23,260 m3/d). The National oil company is the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation.

Consumption of Crude oil has exceeded production in recent years

Natural gas[edit]

Major discoveries in the 1990s have given natural gas increasing importance as an energy source. As of 2005, the country's reserves of natural gas are estimated at 66 trillion cubic feet (1.9×10^12 m3), which are the third largest in Africa.[4] Probable reserves have been placed at or more than 120 trillion cubic feet (3.4×10^12 m3). Since the early 1990s, significant deposits of natural gas have been found in the Western Desert, in the Nile Delta and offshore from the Nile Delta. Domestic consumption of natural gas has also risen as a result of thermal power plants converting from oil to natural gas. As of 2002, Egypt's production and consumption of natural gas are each estimated at 941 billion cubic feet (26.6×10^9 m3).

Natural gas is exported by the Arab Gas Pipeline to the Middle East and in the future potentially to Europe. When completed, it will have a total length of 1,200 kilometres (750 mi).[5] Natural gas is exported also as the liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG is produced at LNG plants of Egyptian LNG and SEGAS LNG companies.[6] BG and Eni, the Italian oil and gas company, together with Gas Natural Fenosa of Spain, built major liquefied natural gas facilities in Egypt for the export market, but the plants have been largely idled as domestic gas consumption has soared. [7]

In March 2015, BP Signed a $12 Billion Deal to Develop Natural Gas in Egypt intended for sale in the domestic market starting in 2017. [8] BP said it would develop a large quantity of offshore gas, equivalent to about one-quarter of Egypt’s output, and bring it onshore to be consumed by customers. Gas from the project, called West Nile Delta, is expected to begin flowing in 2017. BP said that additional exploration might lead to a doubling of the amount of gas available.

Shale oil[edit]

The Safaga-Quseir area of the Eastern Desert is estimated to have reserves equivalent about 4.5 million barrels (720×10^3 m3) of in-place shale oil and the Abu Tartour area of the Western Desert is estimated to have about 1.2 million barrels (190×10^3 m3) of in-place shale oil. The 1000 to 2000 foot thick and organically rich, total organic content of about 4%, Khatatba Formation [9] in the Western Desert is the source rock for wells there and is a potential source for shale oil and shale gas.[10] Apache Corporation, using substantial assets acquired in 2010 from BP after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, is the major operator in the Western Desert,[11] often in joint ventures with Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) such as Khalda Petroleum Company and Qarun Petroleum Company. In 1996 Apache merged with Phoenix Resources, which had made the Qarun discovery in 1994, and took over operations of the Qarun Concession in Egypt.[12] Apache has developed about 18% of the 10 million acres it controls, in 2012 running a score of rigs; drilling about 200 development and injection wells; and about 50 exploration wells with a success rate of about 55%. Plans for 2013 included an investment of about $1 billion in development and exploration.[13] On August 29, 2013 Apache announced sale of a 1/3 share of its Egyptian assets to Sinopec for $3.1 billion effective January 1, 2014; Apache would continue to be the operator.[14]

Oil shale[edit]

Oil shale resources were discovered in the Safaga-Quseir area of the Eastern Desert in the 1940s. The oil shale in the Red Sea area could be extracted by underground mining. In the Abu Tartour are, oil shale could be mined as byproduct whilst mining for phosphates. Oil shale in Egypt is foreseen as a potential fuel for the power generation.[15]

Electrical power[edit]

The Egyptian electric power system is almost entirely integrated, with thermal stations in Cairo and Alexandria and generators at Aswan. In 2006, electricity output was 115 TWh, of which 72% was from gas, 16% from oil and 11% from hydro (mostly from the Aswan High Dam).[16] In 2002, consumption of electricity totaled 75.719 TWh. As of 2006, total installed capacity was estimated at 18 GW.[16]

A US$239 million electricity network link with Jordan was completed in 1998. In late 2002 Egypt announced that it would coordinate a regional energy distribution center to coordinate energy distribution among the nations of the region, including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

Egypt is considering the use of nuclear energy. In 1964, a 150 MWe and in 1974 a 600 MWe nuclear power stations were proposed. The Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) was established in 1976, and in 1983 the El Dabaa site on the Mediterranean coast was selected.[16] Egypt's nuclear plans were frozen after the Chernobyl accident. In 2006, Egypt announced it will revive its civilian nuclear power programme, and to build a 1,000 MW nuclear power station at El Dabaa. It estimated to cost US$1.5bn, and it will be constructed in participation of foreign investors.[17] In March 2008, Egypt signed with Russia an agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.[18]

Egypt has a high solar availability. The total capacity of installed photovoltaic systems is about 4.5 MWp. They are used in remote areas for water pumping, desalination, rural clinics, telecommunications, rural village electrification, etc.[19] The proposed large scale solar power project Desertec involves also Egypt. Egypt has also a high potential for wind energy, especially in the Red Sea coast area. As of 2006, 230 MW of wind energy was installed, with additional 320 MW to be installed by 2009.[20]

Wind farm at Zaafarana

In 2009 430MW of wind power were installed, with a target to reach 7200MW by 2020 (12% of national electric capacity installed and contributing to the 20% renewable electricity target by 2020)[21]


  1. ^ IEA Key World Energy Statistics Statistics 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006 IEA October, crude oil p.11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15
  2. ^ IEA Key World Energy Statistics 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006 IEA October, crude oil p.11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15
  3. ^ a b c WEC, p.76
  4. ^ WEC, p. 176
  5. ^ "Lebanon minister in Syria to discuss the Arab Gas Pipeline". Ya Libnan. 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  6. ^ "SEGAS Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Complex, Damietta, Egypt". Hydrocarbons Technology. Retrieved 2008-02-13. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Mohamed Abdel-Aziz Younes (March 16, 2012). Mohamed Abdel-Aziz Younes, ed. Crude Oil Exploration in the World (HARDCOVER OR PDF). InTech. pp. Chapter 2, "Hydrocarbon Potentials in the Northern Western Desert of Egypt". ISBN 978-953-51-0379-0. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Technically Recoverable Shale Oil and Shale Gas Resources: An Assessment of 137 Shale Formations in 41 Countries Outside the United States" (PDF). U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). June 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ Matt Bradley (June 8, 2011). "Apache hopeful shale drilling takes off in Egypt Stories". Market Watch. Retrieved June 18, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Our Egyptian Region". Apache Corporation. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Egypt Region Overview". Apache Corporation. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  14. ^ Micheal J. de la Merced (August 29, 2013). "Apache to Sell Stake in Egyptian Holdings to Sinopec for $3.1 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  15. ^ WEC, p. 107
  16. ^ a b c "Emerging Nuclear Energy Countries". World Nuclear Association. July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  17. ^ "Egypt unveils nuclear power plan". BBC News. 2006-09-25. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  18. ^ "Middle Eastern nations do nuclear diplomacy". World Nuclear News. 2008-03-25. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  19. ^ WEC, pp.403–404
  20. ^ WEC, pp.409–499
  21. ^


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.