Egypt aims to finish the development of its giant Zohr gas field by the beginning of 2019, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla told a local television channel late on Wednesday.
Egypt had initially planned to finish the third and last phase of the project by the end of 2019.
In December the giant offshore field, whose estimated 30 trillion cubic feet makes it the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean, began initial production of 350 million cubic feet per day.
This is expected to increase to around 1 billion cubic feet per day by mid-2018.
On Wednesday, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, while attending the inauguration of the first phase of the Zohr development, asked Molla to finish work on the field by the end of 2018.
“That’s what we will be working on, to follow the president’s instructions ... we will... try to complete all the phases by the end of 2018 or early 2019,” Molla said.
Zohr has created over 40,000 direct and indirect job opportunities during its development phase and is expected to draw $12 billion in investment, Molla said.
Egypt hopes to save over $2.5 billion per year when development of the field is completed, Molla said.