Egypt is enjoying a gas output renaissance. It hopes to halt imports by end-2018 thanks to a surge in deepwater Mediterranean production. But the country’s oil output is sliding, whilst rising demand means the ‘oil deficit’ is rising even more quickly. New refining units will trim the import bill – but not by much.

The leap in Egypt’s gas output over the last 18 months has been spectacular – having slumped below 4bn cfd in mid-2016, by the end of 2017...