Following the new significant gas discovery in the Baltim exploration region in Egypt made by Eni and BP, Egypt stated it would keep all the natural gas for itself, allowing the country to cut its liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports and encourage competition for the cleaner-burning fuel, Bloomberg informed.

Speaking about the most recent discovery, BP North Africa Regional President, Hesham Mekawi, said: “We are pleased with the results of the Baltim SW-1 well as it is the third discovery along the Nooros trend and confirms the great potential of the Messinian play and its significant upside in the area.”

This is the third largest gas discovery since the Nooros field found in July 2015, followed by “super giant” Zohr find in August 2015. As Oil Price wrote, both finds put Egypt on track to be energy independent in the next two years as they are to come online by the end of 2017. Zohr alone will produce the equivalent of 40% of Egypt total natural gas production based on 2015 rates. The Nooros field now pumps 65,000 b/d of gas for the domestic market. The Greater Nooros Area holds an estimated 80bcm of gas, according to Eni.

Offshore Technology added that the Baltim South Development lease is 50% owned by BP, while Eni holds the remaining 50% interest. To date, BP Egypt has produced almost 40% of Egypt’s entire oil production. At present, the company produces almost 10% of the country’s annual oil and condensate.

Bloomberg noted that gas discoveries have outstripped oil in each of the last four years, which the longest streak since at least 1950, according to the industry consultancy company, Rystad Energy. Explorers have targeted more gas fields as demand for the less-polluting fuel rises.