Italian firm Eni’s August 2015, 23 tcf Zohr discovery is on schedule to come online late this year. But questions have been raised over the motives of Russian state oil giant Rosneft’s December 30%, $1.575bn farm-in.

Eni could bring Zohr online by October this year, although a December start-up remains the official estimate, according to reports in local Egyptian media this week. The $12bn project is due to come online in “record” time according to Eni CEO Claudio...