A gas field so sizeable it is classed as a "supergiant" has been detected off the shore of Egypt. This field is the biggest known in the Mediterranean, nearly twice as large as the previous record-holder in the area.
The discovery was made by the Italian energy group ENI. The gas field – a cavern under the Earth's surface that is rich with natural gas – is easily the largest in the Mediterranean Sea, according to ENI. The find is therefore significant, since the gas can be extracted from the ground and used as fuel.
The conclusion comes from a mixture of seismic activity and data from a discovery well that is 1,450 meters (4,757 feet) deep. The field is thought to contain around 850 billion meters' (30 trillion cubic feet) worth of gas.
The gas field that held this title until now was the Leviathan gas field, off the coast of Israel. It was estimated to be a whopping 450 billion cubic meters (16 trillion cubic feet), but this is still only just over half the size of the newest field.
ENI stated that "This exploration success will give a major contribution in satisfying Egypt's natural gas demand for decades."
Naturally, there are already plans for how this natural gas will be used. Spokesman Hamdi Abdelaziz commented that "The Egyptian government is very happy with this find," and that the extracted gas will only be used for domestic consumption.
"We hope to become self-sufficient by 2020," he said, a comment that will bring relief to the country, which has been suffering power outages due to a shortage of oil and gas.