Wednesday, March 21, 2018

El Sisi, Shoukry talk energy cooperation, improving economic ties with Greek Foreign Minister - ENTERPRISE

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Kotzias in Cairo yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Talks extended to trilateral relations between Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus on East-Mediterranean gas, increased cooperation on economy, trade, and investment, as well as counter-terror and the peaceful resolution to regional disputes. Last month, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla had said that Egypt was in talks with Greece to establish a framework for further energy cooperation, after announcing that it was closing in on an LNG import agreement with Cyprus. The three countries also said last week they would be working on a USD 4 bn 2,000 MW subsea electricity interconnection project that is expected to become part of a larger network linking Europe and Africa.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DEFA to seek gas providers next month - CYPRUS MAIL

March 20, 2018
George Psyllides

The state gas company (Defa) said Tuesday it will be inviting tenders next month for the supply of liquified natural gas for power generation.

Defa chairman Symeon Kassianides also told the House commerce committee that it will be issuing a call for bids for the necessary infrastructure.

The new effort aims at having the fuel by January 2020 to avoid emissions fines.

The two contracts will be separate, Kassianides said.

The Defa chairman said a floating unit to store and deliquefy the fuel will cost some €250m of which 40 per cent, or €101m, will come from the EU.

The European Investment Bank has expressed interest to participate in the project while the island’s state-owned electricity company (EAC) will also hold 30 per cent.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Importing Israeli Natural Gas Makes Sense for Egypt - BLOOMBERG

March 19, 2018, 11:00 AM GMT+2
Robin Mills

The deal is politically fraught but could create an energy powerhouse.

The discovery of Egypt’s giant Zohr gas field in August 2015 was heralded as the solution to the country’s energy problems. So why did Egypt cut a deal this year to import natural gas from Israel, its former enemy?

Dolphinus Holdings, a private Egyptian company, agreed Feb. 19 to buy gas from Noble Energy and its partners from Israel’s two largest offshore fields, Leviathan and Tamar. The controversial accord is but the latest chapter in an Egyptian gas saga that has gone from triumph to tragedy to tentative renaissance.

Egypt’s problems with gas were long in the making. In 2006, Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy received complaints from oil companies that low regulated gas prices were making new developments unviable, while new industries gobbled up supplies. Investment dried up and production plummeted after the 2011 revolution.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

US energy firm IPR announces three new oil discoveries - ENTERPRISE

Sunday, 18 March 2018

US energy firm IPR has made two new oil discoveries in the Western Desert’s Ras Qattara concession and a third in the South Disouq concession, IPR Vice President Elsayed Shahin tells Al Shorouk

The company, which drilled 23 wells last year, has already begun production on the first two discoveries, according to Shahin.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Malcolm Hoenlein says his role with Israeli gas giant is completely transparent - THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

17 March 2018, 4:29 am
Ben Sales
After disclosure of his dual roles, US Jewish leader probed for more information on possible conflicts of interest

Photo: Malcolm Hoenlein, center, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and Stephen Greenberg, right, its chairman, meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, February 9, 2016. (Courtesy of Conference of Presidents via JTA)

NEW YORK (JTA) — Malcolm Hoenlein, who is the professional head of one of American Jewry’s most influential organizations and who sits on the board of a large Israeli energy company, told JTA he sees no conflict between those roles.

Hoenlein is executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella organization that speaks for over 50 Jewish groups on foreign policy, including issues related to Israel. Since June 2017, he has also been on the board of directors of Delek Drilling, a private company that is a major stakeholder in Israel’s large offshore natural gas fields.

Friday, March 16, 2018

ICGB pipe supply tender attracts ten bids - SEE NEWS

16 March 2018
Bulgarian Ministry of Energy

SOFIA (Bulgaria), March 16 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's energy ministry said on Friday that a tender for the supply of pipes for the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria project has attracted ten offers.

Bids were filed by Jindaw SAW Ltd, JSC Zagorsk Pipe Plant, Welspun Corp. Ltd, Salzgitter Mannesmann International GmbH, Noksel Celik Boru Sanayii A.S., Umran Celik Boru Sanayii A.S., Erciyas Celik Boru Sanayi A.S., Toplivo-2, Korinth Pipeworks S.A., Pipe Industry S.A. and Public Joint Stock Company Chelyabinsk Pipe Plant, the energy ministry said in a statement.

This is the first of several key tenders, which will ensure the actual commencing of construction of the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria.

The tender for the construction of the interconnector will be launched in April, the ministry also said. In addition, tenders for supervision of construction works and for carrying out an archaeological study are due to be opened.

The IGB pipeline will connect the Greek gas transmission system in the area of Komotini to the Bulgarian gas transmission system in the area of Stara Zagora.

Greece's Energean lists in London, raises $460 mln for Israeli gas project - REUTERS

MARCH 16, 2018 / 11:39 AM

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Mark Potter and Adrian Croft

  • Company valued at nearly $1 billion
  • Shares trade flat (Recasts, adds quotes, details)
LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - Greece’s Energean Oil & Gas listed on the London Stock Exchange on Friday, raising $460 million to develop two Israeli offshore gas fields in the latest milestone for the rapidly expanding eastern Mediterranean energy sector.

The firm offered 72.6 million new shares at 4.55 pounds ($6.35) apiece in the first flotation of an oil and gas producer on London’s main market since Zenith Energy in January 2017, according to London Stock Exchange data.

Energean shares were trading flat at 1213 GMT.

The company will receive around 330 million pounds ($460 million) from the listing, which gave Energean a market capitalisation of around $968 million, the company said in a statement.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Egypt: Agiba reaches a historic production milestone in Western Desert area - ENI

15/March/2018 16:25
San Donato Milanese (Milan)

Eni announces that the cumulative oil production of AGIBA, the operating joint venture company between Eni’s subsidiary IEOC Production BV and Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), has reached 500 million barrels today.

AGIBA is active since 1981 with operations mainly focused in Eni’s oil and gas concessions located in the Western Desert Area of Egypt, where the recent effort towards new exploration and development activities has brought to unprecedented results.

In particular, thanks to the development of a number of new discoveries such as Rosa North, Emry Deep and Melehia West Deep within existing conventional asset, AGIBA, leveraging on its operated infrastructures has been able to produce and valorize oil resources amounting to around 110 MMbbls in the latest 5 years, thus reaching the target of 500 MMbbls as oil cumulative production.

BP seeking buyers for stake in ageing Egyptian business -sources - REUTERS

MARCH 15, 2018 / 7:48 PM 
Ron Bousso
  • BP to focus on growing deepwater gas business
  • GUPCO business said to be worth over $500 mln

LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) - BP is seeking buyers for its stake in a 50-year-old oil and gas business in Egypt as it focuses on newer deepwater gas fields off the country’s Mediterranean coast, banking sources said.

The London-based company has in recent weeks pitched to potential buyers its stake in Gulf of Suez Oil Company (GUPCO), a joint venture with the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) that was set up in the 1960s.

A spokeswoman for BP declined to comment.

GUPCO produces over 70,000 barrels per day of oil and 400 million cubic feet per day of gas, the sources said.

Eni strengthens record production from Nooros field offshore Egypt - ENI

15/03/2018 10:00

The Nooros field represents to date Eni’s main gas producing field in its Egyptian asset portfolio as well as an example of the success of the company’s integrated model

San Donato Milanese (Milan), 15 March 2018 - Eni has strengthened its record production from the Nooros gas field, offshore Egypt, which reached a production of 32 million cubic meters per day, equivalent to around 215,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed). This production level represents the highest ever recorded by an Eni field in Egypt in the last 50 years.

This significant result has been reached thanks to the start-up of the NW-7 well, the thirteenth drilled within this field. Production levels will increase further by June 2018 when a fourteenth well, currently under drilling, will start-up. This is expected to allow Eni to reach 34 million cubic meters per day of production, equivalent to around 230,000 boed.

EIB approves 932 mln euro loan for TANAP gas pipeline - REUTERS

MARCH 15, 2018 / 5:48 PM
Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS, March 15 (Reuters) - The European Investment Bank approved 932 million euros ($1.15 billion) in financing on Thursday for the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), the largest part of a $40 billion project to bring new gas supplies to Europe.

The so-called Southern Gas Corridor is expected to bring around 16 billion cubic metres per year to Europe by 2020 from the Shah Deniz 2 field in Azerbaijan via TANAP through Turkey, the South Caucasus pipeline extension through Georgia and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to Greece, Albania and Italy.

Shah Deniz 2 is one of the world’s largest gas fields and is developed by a BP-led consortium.

Financing for construction of the TANAP pipeline has already been approved by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the World Bank and Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB).

Cyprus: Eni committed to gas search despite Turkey’s dissent - THE WASHINGTON POST / ASSOCIATED PRESS

March 15 at 1:46 PM

NICOSIA, Cyprus — The Cyprus government says Italian company Eni is committed to carrying on its search for gas off the east Mediterranean island despite Turkey’s strong opposition.

A statement said Eni is “determined to fulfill its obligations” under its contracts with Cyprus to carry out exploratory drilling in six areas off Cyprus where it has been licensed do to so. The assurance came after Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides met Thursday with Eni Executive Vice President Lapo Pistelli in Rome.

The two men agreed on the significance of the eastern Mediterranean as an essential gas source for the region and Europe as well as on Cyprus’ potentially central role in those plans.

Last month, Turkish warships blocked a rig from reaching an area southeast of Cyprus where Eni was scheduled to drill.

Dana Gas plans $47 mln capex in Egypt this year - NASDAQ / REUTERS

March 15, 2018, 05:41:00 AM EDT
Stanley Carvalho

ABU DHABI, March 15 (Reuters) - United Arab Emirates-based energy firm Dana Gas will spend $47 million in Egypt this year but any new investments will be made only if the country pays some of the money it owes, Dana's chief executive said on Thursday.

Abu Dhabi-listed Dana has been struggling to recover payments from Egypt, with total "receivables" related to oil and gas production standing at $228 million.

The money will go towards an ongoing drilling programme in Egypt where Dana has two to four wells and where work has already begun.

But with Egypt's payments in the second half of 2017 being "sporadic and disappointing", Dana is cautious about new investments. "Absent payment, absent investments," Allman-Ward said.

Dana's production in Egypt in 2017 was around 39,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), up 5 percent year-on-year, it said in annual results on Thursday.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Owners of Israeli field seek to stop Cyprus deal with Egypt - CYPRUS MAIL

MARCH 14, 2018
George Psyllides

The owners of the rights in an Israeli natural gas field next to Cyprus’ Aphrodite reservoir have asked the Israeli government to take steps to stop the island signing a gas deal with Egypt as this would affect their interests, reports said.

Israeli business news portal Globes said the owners of the rights in the Ishai licence, a continuation of the Cypriot Aphrodite gas reservoir on the Israeli side of the boundary between the two countries’ economic zones, wrote to Petroleum Commissioner Yosi Wurzburger and to Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, Yuval Steinitz claiming that the extraction of gas on the Cypriot side would lead to the extraction of gas from Ishai as well.

In Nicosia, a government source rebuffed the demand, according to the Cyprus News Agency.

“The claim, which is old, is unreasonable since they have officially admitted that the quantity discovered at Ishai is negligible and cannot be recovered,” the source told the agency.

The Israeli demand followed reports that Cyprus was in talks with Egypt to export gas from Aphrodite.

SDX Energy strikes oil in Egypt's West Gharib Concession - WORLD OIL


LONDON -- SDX Energy Inc., the North Africa focused oil and gas company, is pleased to announce that an oil discovery has been made at its Rabul 5 well in the West Gharib Concession in Egypt (SDX 50% working interest and joint operator).

The well was drilled to 5,280 ft TD and encountered approximately 151 ft of net heavy oil pay across the Yusr and Bakr formations, with an average porosity of 18%. Further evaluation of the discovery is ongoing, after which the Company expects the well to be completed as a producer and connected to the central processing facilities at Meseda.

Following completion of the Rabul 5 well the Company will move on to the Rabul 4 location, the second of two appraisal wells planned for the Rabul feature this year.

Noble Energy Closes Sale of 7.5 Percent Working Interest in Tamar - NOBLE ENERGY

Mar 14, 2018
Houston, March 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) today announced the closing of the previously announced divestment of a 7.5 percent working interest in the Tamar field, offshore Israel, to Tamar Petroleum Ltd. Noble Energy remains operator of the field with a 25 percent working interest.

Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL) is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company with a diversified high-quality portfolio of both U.S. unconventional and global offshore conventional assets. Founded more than 85 years ago, the Company is committed to safely and responsibly delivering our purpose: Energizing the World, Bettering People's Lives®. 

Egypt’s USD 15 bn gas import agreement unlocked East Med to E&P majors - ENTERPRISE

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Egypt’s Dolphinus Holding’s USD 15 bn agreement to import gas from Israel could have unlocked the East Mediterranean gas field for oil and gas majors who have long eyed the fields, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). “ExxonMobil, Shell, Total and others are planning to invest in exports and exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean. Their prospects were buoyed by a landmark contract last month between U.S., Israeli and Egyptian firms that breathed new life into the regional market.” Eni, which discovered Zohr, is trying to get in on Lebanon, while ExxonMobil is looking to be the latest entrant. As we noted on Monday, Shell is reportedly nearing a USD 25 bn agreement to bring gas from Israel and Cyprus to its liquefaction plants in Egypt. This comes despite political and hurdles that have traditionally kept these companies away from the region, with Turkey’s harassment of Cyprus and Lebanon-Israel disputes over areas being the latest of these. The piece somehow draws the connection between these discoveries and US diplomatic efforts to help bring regional powers, especially Israel and Egypt together.

ExxonMobil ship arrives for hydrocarbons survey - CYPRUS MAIL

The ExxonMobil survey ship The Ocean Investigator at
Limassol port on Wednesday morning
March 14, 2018
Evie Andreou

The ExxonMobil survey ship, Ocean Investigator, scheduled to carry out hydrocarbon explorations in block 10 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), arrived on Wednesday morning at the Limassol port.

The Ocean Investigator arrived at the Limassol port at around 8.00 am to refuel and pick up equipment necessary for its environmental impact evaluation in block 10. It sailed from the port of Lavrio in Greece.

A second vessel, the Med Surveyor, is expected to arrive in Limassol on Thursday.

The two vessels will be conducting surveys in order to establish the best drilling targets. ExxonMobil plans to carry out exploratory drilling in the second half of this year, in late summer or autumn.

According to port director, Panayiotis Agathocleous, the Ocean Investigator has docked at a quay located in the management area of DP World Limassol and is expected to load equipment, which will be transported to block 10 for its scheduled operations.

Nooros field’s 13th well comes online, adding 90 mcf/d of production - ENTERPRISE

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The 13th well of the Nooros gas field has come online, bringing an additional 90 mcf/d to the national grid. This would bring the field’s total production to 1.15 bcf/d, according to a report by Eni and EGPC JV Belayim Petroleum Company (Petrobel), Al Masry Al Youm reports

The field’s 14th well is underway, which is expected to raise total production capacity to 1.2 bcf/d.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mubadala Petroleum acquires 10% stake in Egypt's Shorouk Concession - WORLD OIL


ABU DHABI -- Mubadala Petroleum and Italy’s Eni signed an agreement to purchase a 10% stake in the Egyptian Shorouk Concession. The signing ceremony was presided over by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Paolo Gentiloni, Prime Minister of the Republic of Italy. The stake in the offshore Shorouk Concession encompasses the giant Zohr gas field located in the Mediterranean Sea.

The agreement was signed by HE Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Group CEO and managing director of Mubadala Investment Company, on behalf of Mubadala Petroleum and Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni. The signing ceremony was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The signing ceremony was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

Eni is operator with currently 60% interest and other partners in the concession are BP with 10% interest and Rosneft with 30% interest.

Mediterranean Gas Bounty Suddenly Seems Within Big Oil’s Reach - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

March 13, 2018 5:23 p.m. ET
Rory Jones in Tel Aviv,Sarah Kent in London and Bradley Olson in Houston

Activity follows years of work by U.S. diplomats to harmonize economies of once-hostile nations such as Israel, Egypt and Jordan

Big oil companies are pushing into Mediterranean waters off Israel, Lebanon and Egypt after years of U.S. diplomacy helped break open a political logjam around giant Middle Eastern natural-gas discoveries.

Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -0.94% , Royal Dutch Shell RDS.B -0.81% PLC,Total SA TOT 0.33% of France and others are planning to invest in exports and exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean. Their prospects were buoyed by a landmark contract last month between U.S., Israeli and Egyptian firms that breathed new life into the regional market.

Shell is in talks with investors in natural-gas fields off Israel and Cyprus to supply its Egyptian liquefaction facility, according to people familiar with the matter. If the deal advances, it would allow Israel to quickly export some of the extensive reserves of natural gas found in the Mediterranean Sea west of Haifa.

Italy’s Eni E 0.59% SpA and Total last month announced a new discovery off Cyprus. The two oil giants are also working together to explore in disputed waters off Lebanon. Exxon, too, is set to explore nearby.

Ishai license holders warn on gas extraction from Aphrodite - GLOBES

13 Mar, 2018 10:32
Sonia Gorodeisky

Israel Opportunity chairman Rony Halman: Further development of the Aphrodite reservoir that ignores Israel's rights will represent a dangerous precedent.

The owners of the rights in the Ishai license, a continuation of the Cypriot Aphrodite gas reservoir on the Israeli side of the boundary between the two countries' economic zones, wrote to Petroleum Commissioner Yosi Wurzburger and to Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz claiming that the extraction of gas on the Cypriot side would necessarily lead to the extraction of gas from Ishai as well. The approach to the ministry follows reports that Cyprus is in negotiations with Egypt on an agreement for the export of gas from Aphrodite. In addition, energy giant Shell is reported to be in talks in buying gas from the Aphrodite and Leviathan reservoirs.

RAE approves gas supply license bid from PPC, seeking transformation - ENERGY PRESS


RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has approved a gas supply license application submitted by the main power utility PPC, energypress sources have informed, a move that essentially represents a first step in the power utility’s transformation from an electricity firm to a full-ranged energy group.

It now remains to be seen how the utility will opt to move in the natural gas market.

According to the same sources, PPC/ΔΕΗ is still organizing its natural gas market entry with assistance from two consulting firms, Boston Consulting and Samaras & Associates, both preparing the utility’s related business plan. A finalized plan concerning combined electricity-and-gas packaged to be offered by PPC is expected to be ready by the summer.

The power utility is believed to be aiming for a natural gas market share of around 30 percent, given its gigantic customer base in the electricity market. Experience has shown that major electricity firms entering natural gas markets in other parts of Europe have achieved such market penetration levels.

Top U.S. Jewish Leader Has Little-known Side Job as Director of Israeli Gas Giant Behind $15b Egypt Deal - HAARETZ / THE FORWARD

Mar 13, 2018 9:13 AM
The Forward and Josh Nathan-Kazis 

Days after Delek Drilling announced the Egypt deal, the Presidents Conference – lead by Malcolm Hoenlein at the time – hosted a panel promoting gas extraction as a route to Mideast peace

Less than two weeks before the Israeli energy giant Delek Drilling announced a $15 billion deal to pump natural gas to Egypt, one of its board members, Malcolm Hoenlein, told a newspaper that the United States should be “standing up for” Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, despite his troubling human rights record.

“You can criticize and you can push for human rights and do all those things,” Hoenlein said. “At the same time you’ve got to recognize the realities that these countries face.”

Monday, March 12, 2018

Energy on the agenda of US official’s visit to Cyprus - CYPRUS MAIL

March 12, 2018
Annette Chrysostomou

The US chief diplomat for European and Eurasian affairs Wess Mitchell will be in Cyprus on Friday as part of a tour that includes visits to Pristina, Skopje, Belgrade and Athens taking place this week.

According to a statement issued by the US State Department, the assistant secretary of state will meet senior officials in Cyprus “to discuss bilateral and regional issues, including the development of energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean”.

During his visit, Mitchell will meet with President Nicos Anastasiades, Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, according to Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides.

The diplomat is also set to meet United Nations representatives.

Is Shell nearing a USD 25 bn agreement that could see Egypt become an East Med export hub? - ENTERPRISE

Monday, 12 March 2018

Is Shell nearing a USD 25 bn agreement that could see Egypt become an East Med gas export hub? Shell is reportedly in talks to buy gas from the Israel’s Leviathan and Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas fields in a USD 25 bn, 10-year agreement, Israel’s Globes reports citing a report from Bloomberg. Shell is looking to buy 10 bcm of gas from both fields, industry sources said.

Background: Bloomberg had noted last year that Shell was looking for ways to move gas from Leviathan and Aphrodite, in which it holds a 35% stake, to Egypt’s Idku LNG facility, which it owns and from which it hopes to export. Last month’s USD 15 bn agreement between Leviathan operators and Alaa Arafa-led Dolphinus Holding to import gas to Egypt had opened options to moving gas to the country. Gas could be shipped to Egypt through Jordan via a pipeline as conditions for that appear ready, according to statements by Leviathan partners Delek Energy and Noble Drilling. Both are looking to purchase the rights to use the East Mediterranean Gas Company’s pipeline to transport gas to its customers in Egypt.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Eni sells 10 percent of Egypt's Shorouk concession to Mubadala Petroleum - REUTERS

MARCH 11, 2018 / 9:25 PM 
Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Louise Heavens and Peter Graff

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian oil company Eni (ENI.MI) said on Sunday it would sell a 10 percent stake in the Shorouk concession in Egypt’s Zohr gas field to Mubadala Petroleum of the United Arab Emirates for $934 million.

Eni currently holds through its subsidiary IEOC a 60 percent stake in the block, the biggest ever gas discovery in the Mediterranean, with 400 million standard cubic feet per day.

Rosneft (ROSN.MM) holds a 30 percent share and BP (BP.L) 10 percent.

The deal fits with Eni’s so-called ‘dual exploration’ strategy, under which the state-controlled group aims to sell down stakes in fields it operates in order to raise cash to fund future development and support dividends.

“(The deal) represents a further signal about the strength and quality of this world-class asset,” said ENI Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi.

One of two ExxonMobil survey ships on its way to Limassol - CYPRUS MAIL

March 11, 2018

One of the two ExxonMobil research vessels scheduled to carry out explorations in block 10 of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) departed from Greece on Sunday and is headed towards Limassol port, according to

Ocean Investigator has been moored at the port of Lavrio, Greece. The second vessel Med Surveyor was still located off the port of Haifa, Israel on Sunday.

The former is expected at Limassol port in the next 48 hours.

EastMed gas disputes could play into Egypt’s favor where European exports are concerned - ENTERPRISE

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Disputes over natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean could play into Egypt’s favor where exports to Europe are concerned, Yigal Chazan suggests in a piece for the Financial Times (paywall). The competition between Mediterranean neighbors over natural gas could “complicate plans to build pipelines linking producer countries to consumer markets,” he says, arguing that Egypt’s idle liquefaction plants “could offer Cyprus and Israel a cost-effective and secure distribution route to Asia, through the Suez Canal, and Europe.” Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings has already inked an agreement that will see Egypt receive USD 15 bn-worth of Israeli gas. Cyprus is on its way to singing a similar-style pact with Cairo, which is gearing up to sign an agreement with the EU before mid-2018 that will see it export LNG through its liquefaction plants.

This comes as the Turkey-occupied Turkish enclave of Cyprus threatened to throw fuel to the fire. Its so-called "Foreign Minister" Kudret Ozersay said that they would launch their own exploration efforts if the internationally recognized Cyprus government doesn’t sit down for negotiations, Reuters reports.

On a related note, Egypt will soon be at liberty “to fish for the next giant cache to satisfy its growing domestic appetite” for LNG, with Eni close to finalizing work on Zohr and BP wrapping up its activities in Atoll and the Giza and Fayoum concessions, says Upstream Online.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Shell relinquishes Gaza gas field rights - GLOBES

8 Mar, 2018 13:50
Sonia Gorodeisky

The Palestinian Authority is seeking a new partner to help it develop the Marine gas field.

Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell is relinquishing its rights to the Marine gas field off the coast of Gaza, "Reuters" reports. The undeveloped gas field contains an estimated 32 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

The Palestinian Authority now needs to find a new international group to develop and operate the field. Palestinian ministers say they are in the process of locating an alternative operator to Shell.

Shell owns 60% of the rights to the gas field with the Palestinian Authority owning the remaining 40%. British Gas (since acquired by Shell) discovered the field, 35 kilometers off the coast of Gaza, in 2000 but although it could have provided energy security for the Gaza Strip, the field has never been developed. The main reason for the failure to develop the field was the geopolitical problems in the region, which made it impossible for Shell to sign any export deals.

A Shell spokesman said: "We confirm we have been in discussions with various parties about the future of the Gaza Marine project. As of now, Shell continues to hold its equity in the Gaza Marine asset."

Agreement to link Cyprus, Egypt, Greece via undersea cable signed - CYPRUS BUSINESS MAIL

MARCH 8, 2018
Stelios Orphanides

Cyprus and Egypt have agreed on the route of a 1,707-kilometre sub-sea power cable that will link the grids of the two countries to that of Greece, EuroAfrica Interconnector, the company behind the project said.

The cable, named after the company, “will connect the electricity grids of Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece with Europe has entered the pre-works phase,” the firm said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. “The Egyptian government (is) giving its full support to EuroAfrica Interconnector, transforming Egypt as an electricity hub for Africa and agreed the electricity cable route, the landing point and the site of the HVDC (high-voltage, direct current) converter station”.

Israel expects decision on East Med gas pipeline to Europe in 2019 - REUTERS

THU MAR 8, 2018 / 1:43 PM EST
Ron Bousso

(Reuters) - Israel expects a decision to go ahead with the construction of a 2,000 kilometer (1,243 mile) pipeline linking vast eastern Mediterranean gas resources to Europe to be made by early 2019, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Reuters.

The pipeline, which will cross from Israel and Cyprus into Greece and Italy in deep waters, would mark a major milestone for the rapidly developing gas industry in the Levantine Basin in the east corner of the Mediterranean, offering access to a large market.

The European Union considers the pipeline, estimated to cost $7 billion, as "extremely competitive" as the four partner countries continue construction plans for the technically complex line, Steinitz told Reuters late on Wednesday on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference in Houston.

"This summer we will reach a detailed agreement between the four founding states of the East Med pipeline and at the beginning of 2019 we hope to see a final investment decision," he said.

Troubled waters ahead in Israel-Lebanon border dispute - PETROLEUM ECONOMIST

8 March 2018
Gerald Butt

A maritime border dispute between Israel and Lebanon, and a plan by IOCs to start drilling close to the contested area, are contributing to regional tensions

When a Total-led consortium signed two exploration and production agreements in Beirut in February, the Lebanese government made no attempt to hide its delight.

"Today, we announce that we have started our petroleum path," energy minister Cesar Abi Khalil said. After years of delay caused by internal political crises and sectarian squabbling, Lebanon had finally nailed down contracts that would lead to the start of drilling for oil and gas.

The winning consortium consists of Total (with a 40% stake), Eni (40%) and Novatek (20%). The awarded blocks are 4 and 9. The group has committed itself to drill at least one well in each block in the first three years, starting probably in 2019.

US State Department stresses Cyprus's right to develop resources in EEZ - KATHIMERINI

08.03.2018 : 09:27

The United States recognizes the right of Cyprus to develop the resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone, and discourages any actions or statements that provoke a rise in tensions in the region, a State Department official has said.

In a statement late on Wednesday, the official said that Washington's policy on Cyprus’ EEZ was longstanding and has not changed, noting that the US "recognizes the right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop its resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone."

“We continue to believe the island’s oil and gas resources, like all of its resources, should be equitably shared between both communities in the context of an overall settlement," the official said.

"We discourage any actions or rhetoric that increase tensions in the region."

The official did not comment directly on threats from Ankara regarding the arrival in the region of a research vessel belonging to US company ExxonMobil.

In recent weeks Turkish warships have twice blocked a vessel bound for drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ block 3 on behalf of Italian company ENI.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Noble, Delek seek rights to EMG pipeline for Egypt natgas supply - REUTERS

MARCH 7, 2018 / 3:32 PM
Reporting by Steven Scheer, Editing by Tova Cohen

JERUSALEM, March 7 (Reuters) - The partners in the Tamar and Leviathan natural gas site off Israel’s coast are in talks to buy the rights to use the East Mediterranean Gas (EMG) pipeline to supply gas to customers in Egypt.

The partners, Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Drilling, did not provide details. Delek said there was no certainty a binding agreement would be signed.

Last month, Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings said it would buy $15 billion of Israeli natural gas in two 10-year agreements from Leviathan and Tamar.