CAIRO, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Egypt said on Monday that it would be self-sufficient in natural gas by 2020 thanks to the discovery of three gas fields in recent years, according to an official statement. The Petroleum Minister Tarek al-Molla said in a press statement that the discoveries of the gas fields in Zohr, Nooros and North Alexandria will supply the country with 50 percent of its domestic natural gas needs in 2018, and 100 percent in 2020. Egypt's production of natural gas rose to 144 million cubic meters per day in 2017 from 124 million cubic meters per day in 2016, with the start of production from the North Alexandria field. The three natural gas fields are expected to produce 130 million cubic meters per day by the start of 2019. Once an energy exporter, Egypt has turned into a net importer in recent years with production declining and consumption increasing. Egypt's domestic gas production is currently about 123 million cubic meters per day compared with consumption of around 147 million, said the oil minister. However, Egypt is back on track to be a gas exporter soon after a big number of recent discoveries across the country. Egypt has recently raised fuel prices up by 55.3 percent and doubled the price of gas cylinders that are used at many homes and restaurants. The move came as part of the country's economic reform program that includes lifting energy subsidies completely within a few years. Enditem
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