Whilst gas has grabbed the headlines since Eni’s mid-2015 Zohr discovery, oil production has remained on a downward trajectory.

Egypt’s crude and condensate output averaged just 623,000 b/d in the first half of 2017, the lowest for any comparable period since 1981. Egypt was a net crude exporter as recently as 2008, but output as a percentage of demand has halved over the last 15 years (see chart 1). It was just 73% in the first half of 2017 leaving Egypt a net importer to the...