Eni, Chevron announce new gas discovery in Egyptian East Med field

Eni's logo is seen in front of its headquarters in San Donato Milanese, near Milan, Italy, April 27, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

MILAN, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Italian energy group Eni (ENI.MI) and U.S. energy major Chevron (CVX.N) said on Sunday they had made a new gas discovery in an Egyptian offshore field in the Eastern Mediterranean sea.

The Nargis-1 well is part of Egypt's 1,800-sq. km Nargis Offshore Area concession operated by Chevron (CVX.N), which holds a 45% interest in it. Eni also holds a 45% stake, while Egypt's Tharwa Petroleum Company SAE holds a 10% interest.

Egypt's state-owned EGAS said the quantity of reserves in the well were being evaluated, and it would work with Chevron and the other partners to start production as soon as possible.

Chevron was "encouraged and excited by the success of this first exploration well which encountered high-quality reservoirs," Clay Neff, president of Chevron International Exploration and Production, said in a statement.

State-controlled Eni is looking for new gas sources as it aims to completely replace gas imports from Russia by 2025 following the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The new discovery is located in the Nargis-1 exploration well and "can be developed leveraging the proximity to Eni's existing facilities", the group said in a statement.

Egypt's position as a gas producer was boosted by Eni's discovery of the giant Zohr field in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2015, though it has also started importing gas from Israel amid rising domestic demand.

Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari, Ari Rabinovitch and Sarah El Safty; writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Susan Fenton and Raissa Kasolowsky

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