Egypt’s Zohr gas field is expected to start production in late November, according to industry sources.

“The project has seen good progress and is likely to start production before the end of the year. Maybe starting in late November,” said one source.

The operator of Egypt’s Zohr gas field is PetroShorouk Petroleum, a joint venture of Eni, the state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and Russia’s Rosneft.

The Zohr gas field was discovered by the Italian oil and gas company Eni.

It is the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean and holds an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The scheme to develop the concession is a multibillion-dollar megaproject with multiple stages.

In May last year Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek el-Molla said that the total investment in the Zohr field development project in the Shorouk concession area will come to $16bn.

The Zohr field is expected to produce about one billion cubic feet of gas per day by the end of 2017 as part of the development project’s first phase.

Once the later stages of the project are complete the field is expected to have a capacity of 2.7 billion cubic feet per day.

On 9 October, Russian oil and gas company Rosneft announced that it had closed a deal to buy a 30 per cent stake in Egypt’s Zohr gas field from the Italian energy company Eni.

Rosneft paid $1.125bn for the stake.

After selling 30 per cent to Rosneft, Eni will be left with a 60 per cent stake in the project.

UK-based BP holds the remaining 10 per cent stake.

In February 2016, Tarek el-Molla announced that Italy’s Saipem and Belayim Petroleum Company (Petrobel), a joint venture between the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Eni, had been selected as the main contractors for the development of Egypt’s giant Zohr gas field.

El Molla said that the two firms had been nominated in cooperation with local contractors Engineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries (ENPPI) and Petrojet.

The value of deals signed by Petrobel and Saipem was not revealed.