OZY: The Sad Truth About Major Energy Finds

By SIMON CONSTABLE

You have just discovered a sizable natural gas field. Actually, not sizable but what could be the world’s largest. It happens to be located ideally enough off the coast of Egypt, a growing energy hub, and it may hold up to 30 trillion cubic feet of gas. Do the math, and at current European prices, it’d be worth roughly $200 billion, or more than two-thirds the size of Egypt’s entire economy.
You can hear that Bangles song — “Walk Like an Egyptian” — can’t you? Or at least, they’d better be dancing in the street there with this kind of news.
But of course, this is the world of energy, an Alice in Wonderland nightmare that can make absolutely no sense. Demand can rise, and still prices can fall. Or countries too dependent on it (read Venezuela or Russia) can find themselves with little to fall back on. Which brings us to what this latest discovery will really mean to Egypt. Will it be its savior? Will it make Egypt rich?
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