A potentially huge natural gas field discovered off the coast of Egypt could shift the calculus of power in the Middle East in a very bad way.
Italian energy group Eni says it has found one of the world's largest natural gas fields off Egypt's coast.
The company said the area was 1,450m (4,757 feet) beneath the surface and covered 100 sq km (39 sq miles).
It could hold as much as 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, or 5.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Eni said.
The company says that the Zohr field "could become one of the world's largest natural-gas finds" and help meet Egypt's gas needs for decades.
"This historic discovery will be able to transform the energy scenario of Egypt," said Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni.
Eni, which has full concession rights to the area, is the biggest foreign energy firm in Africa.
This is going to make the Egyptian military government a lot of money, and will help the Italians too. US energy companies are cut out of the loop here, but so are the Russians, the other major gas player in Europe. They'll get their money by other means, I'm sure.
How that's leveraged by General Sisi and his government, we'll see. But somehow I don't see this as a major boon for your average Egyptian. It's only a question of how much of a cut our good "ally" in Cairo takes. And considering Egypt is the kind of place where journalists are convicted for exposing corruption, I don't have a very good feeling about this at all.
Now Sisi and his friends will have the money to hold power indefinitely, and I'm sure they'll buy all the toys they want from the biggest arms dealers in the world, America and Russia.