Italian energy giant ENI has announced the discovery of the "largest ever" offshore natural gas field in the Mediterranean inside Egypt's territorial waters.
The discovery, confirmed by Egypt's oil ministry on Sunday, could hold a potential 850 billion cubic metres of lean gas in an area of about 100 square kilometres, it said in a statement.
The so-called Zohr project is "the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea," it said, adding the find would meet Egypt's own natural gas demands for decades.
The discovery - potentially one of the world's largest natural gas finds - is located at a depth of 1450 metres in the Shorouk Block, ENI said.
ENI chief executive Claudio Descalzi has visited Cairo and discussed the discovery with Egyptian leaders including President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
"This historic discovery will be able to transform the energy scenario of Egypt," Descalzi said in the statement.
The firm said it will "immediately appraise the field with the aim of accelerating a fast track development of the discovery".