Saturday, August 18, 2018

Greece-Israel-Cyprus summit brought forward - KATHIMERINI

SATURDAY AUGUST 18, 2018, 10:07

This fall’s planned trilateral summit in Jerusalem between Greece, Cyprus and Israel at the foreign ministry level has been brought forward to September 13.

The meeting between Greece’s Nikos Kotzias, Cyprus’s Nikos Christodoulides and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who holds his government’s foreign affairs portfolio, will take place amid increased gas exploration activity in the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkish plans to drill in the region.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly made his intention clear that Turkey will not be left out of the new energy balance in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Ankara says the solution to the decades-old Cyprus problem hinges on the way natural gas reserves off the island’s coast will be exploited.

Meanwhile, the Medusa joint aeronautical exercise between Greece and Egypt is expected to begin in coming days south of the island of Crete.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Israel's offshore blocks reserve could prompt change in natural gas export policy - PLATTS

17 Aug 2018 | 12:22 UTC
Authors: Fabio Reale, Neal Sandler; Editor: Daniel Lalor;

Tel Aviv — The five new Israeli offshore blocks awarded last year to Energean have a potential reserve of 126 Bcm, according to an initial analysis conducted by Netherland, Sewell & Associates (NSAI), the Greek exploration company said. The estimates added a significant amount to Israel's resource base potential and could contribute to a change in the current 40% export limit and higher exports to Egypt or Turkey.

The Karish and Tanin offshore fields, which Energean is developing has proven natural gas reserves of 86 Bcm. In February, producers Delek and Noble signed a 10-year deal with Egypt's Dolphinius Holdings for the LNG re-export of 64 Bcm of gas from Tamar and Leviathan offshore fields from early 2019.

"We have a contingent commitment to conduct exploratory drilling in the new blocks," Energean CEO Mathios Rigas said. The five blocks are 12, 21, 22, 23 and 31.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Revealed: ExxonMobil's private dinner with Cyprus' top EU brass - EU OBSERVER

De Warande
BRUSSELS, 14 AUGUST 2018, 06:56

Oil and gas firm ExxonMobil recently hosted Cypriot MEPs, Cyprus' highest EU diplomat and EU commissioner Christos Stylianides at a dinner in a private club in Brussels, to inform them about its offshore drilling plans near Cyprus.

However, no record was made of what was said at the out-of-hours private event, causing concern for campaigners on the question of the EU's transparency and accountability on meetings with lobbyists.

The dinner, held in April, was confirmed by all parties - but only after EUobserver asked the European Commission for information about the meeting in an access to documents request.

The commission's register of meetings had merely stated that Stylianides – a Cypriot – had a meeting with ExxonMobil about "update of exploration activities offshore Cyprus".

Sunday, August 12, 2018

LNG back in the limelight - CYPRUS MAIL

AUGUST 12, 2018
Charles Ellinas

With Noble, Delek and Shell requesting to renegotiate their Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with Cyprus, and particularly the formula for sharing potential profits, LNG is back in the limelight in Cyprus. But how is LNG faring in a world with a glut of energy supplies, brought about by the inexorable increase in renewable energy?

This was the subject of recently released Global Annual Reports by the International Group of LNG Importers (GIIGNL) and the International Gas Union (IGU) on the performance of the LNG industry in 2017, and they make a very interesting reading.

Global LNG imports in 2017 recorded their highest annual growth rate since 2010, at 9.9 per cent, reaching 289.8 million tonnes. New liquefaction capacity continued to come online in various areas of the world ranging from the US to Australia, Malaysia and Russia, leading to a 26.2 million tonnes/yr increase in LNG supply compared with 2016.

Expectations of an LNG surplus did not materialise, as, among other factors, rising imports into China contributed substantially to balance the market.

Key conclusions are:

Jordan, Egypt ink agreement on gas supply resumption - ENTERPRISE

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla and his Jordanian counterpart Hala Zawati renewed a natural gas sale and purchase agreement, under which Cairo will export 10% of Amman’s natural gas needs, Jordan Times reports. 

Both sides reportedly signed the initial agreement in 2014 but Egypt failed to meet the amount of natural gas it was agreed to provide. 

“Egypt provided Jordan with 250 mcf of natural gas daily since 2004, but these amounts started decreasing at the end of 2009 until they were completely halted in 2011 after attacks on the Arab Gas Pipeline,” the Jordanian energy minister said. 

Zawati also met with Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker over cooperation on electricity connection and exchange, as well as exchanging expertise in the fields of energy and renewable energy, according to a ministry statement.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

CYPRUS: Gas pipeline to Egypt a done deal but there is a snag - FINANCIAL MIRROR

07 August, 2018

Nicosia and Cairo have agreed to build a gas pipeline from the Aphrodite field in Block 12 to Egypt, but those reserves could remain untapped in a row over profits.

The deal could come unstuck if the government does not strike a compromise on profit sharing with the consortium licensed to exploit Block 12.

CyBC TV said the agreement, already approved by Brussels, is undergoing the finishing touches before it is signed at an official ceremony in the Autumn.

An Energy Ministry official has briefed the political parties on new demands by US firm Noble, UK-Dutch Shell and Israel’s Delek to exploit Aphrodite gas.

They want a change in the product-sharing contract which outlines the percentage of revenues to be received by the state in any commercial deal.

The three companies have proposed a ratio change of 60-40 in favour of the Republic of Cyprus be reversed so that Noble, Shell and Delek receive the lion’s share of the 60% instead.

Such a reversal in the profit ratio would see the state lose in the region of €2.5 bln to the consortium.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Delek, Noble and Egypt said to put final touches on gas deal - WORLD OIL


CAIRO and TEL AVIV (Bloomberg) -- The companies developing Israel’s largest natural gas fields and their Egyptian partner have finalized details of a deal that would give them control over a pipeline to Egypt, according to people familiar with the matter, a crucial step that would pave the way for a $15-billion export contract.

The deal involves setting up joint venture companies in Cyprus and the Netherlands, through which Israel’s Delek Drilling LP, U.S.-based Noble Energy Inc. and their Egyptian partner, East Gas, would buy a 37% stake in Eastern Mediterranean Gas Co., held by businessmen Sam Zell and Yosef Maiman, among others.

An initial agreement is expected to be signed in a month or less, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are confidential. Separately, efforts also involve a substantial reduction of a $1.76-billion fine imposed on Egypt by an arbitration court in favor of Israel Electric Corp.

The agreements would eliminate legal obstacles to implementing the gas export contract, seen as a step adding economic depth to a relationship dominated by security since the two countries signed a peace treaty more than four decades ago. It would also advance Egypt’s plan to capitalize on its own giant Zohr gas field and become a regional energy hub.

Shares of Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP, a partner in an Israeli gas field that is party to the export deal with Egypt, rose as much as 3% on the news. The Tel Aviv Oil & Gas Index gained as much as 0.9% to 902.58, the highest in one month.

The deal is shaping up as follows:

TurkStream's 2nd Leg to Become Operational by December 2019 – Turkish Minister - SPUTNIK NEWS

08.08.2018 15:21

ANKARA (Sputnik) - The second leg of the TurkStream gas pipeline is expected to be put into service by December 31, 2019, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said Wednesday, citing information provided by Russian energy giant Gazprom, which is involved in the construction project.

"The construction of the offshore portion of the first leg of TurkStream has been completed. Gazprom built it on its own. They covered a 930 kilometer [578 mile] route. Now, construction of the land portion is underway. Gazprom continues laying down the second leg of the offshore part [of the pipeline]. Gazprom has notified us of the date [it will become operational] — December 31, 2019," Donmez told A Haber TV Channel.

The TurkStream pipeline will have a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters (556 billion cubic feet) per year. One leg is expected to supply natural gas solely for Turkish consumption.

The second leg will transport gas to European countries through Turkey, and is scheduled for completion in 2019. Gazprom is considering options for extending the pipeline through Bulgaria and Serbia or through Greece and Italy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The new Cypriot-Egyptian agreement regarding the natural gas pipeline - LYGEROS

7 August 2018
Nikos Lygeros

The new agreement between Cyprus and Egypt regarding the natural gas pipeline, which carries the European Union's necessary stamp of approval, is the implementation of the intermediate path towards the exploitation of the mineral wealth.

It constitutes a new success which enhances the alliance context with Egypt, but also the triple point of contact issue, where Greece is also involved, at both geopolitical and geo-economic levels, since it will also have an impact upon the East Med pipeline which is of strategic importance.

The other important element is that it regards a transnational agreement that goes beyond European Union issues.

Therefore it constitutes an effective response to Turkey's provocative statements.

It's indicative in practical terms that Egypt functions catalytically in regards to this relationship, and that the two countries now obtain mutual interests, a factor which is very important at a geostrategic level.

With this agreement, Cyprus acquires an energean ally which has a European orientation, both politically and technologically.

Consequently, Cyprus' position is becoming upgraded and the island can now see differently the Eastern Mediterranean and its interconnection with the European Union.

EGX, Oil Ministry officials begin deliberations over setting up natural gas futures exchange - ENTERPRISE

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

EGX, Oil Ministry officials begin deliberations over setting up natural gas futures exchange: Bourse officials have reportedly started talks with the Oil Ministry to set up a futures exchange for natural gas, banking sources tell Al Mal. Officials met last week to begin discussing their vision for the establishment of energy-oriented futures exchanges, beginning with natural gas, according to the sources, who add that the gas exchange market will be the main platform used for striking gas sale and purchase agreements and determining prices, quantities, and delivery dates. The framework is still in the early drafting stages, the sources said, hinting that we’re still a long way from seeing the market turn into a reality.

Background: The recently-amended Capital Markets Act and its executive regulations included provisions that allow for the establishment of futures exchanges and the introduction of other financial instruments, such as green bonds, sukuk, and margin trading. We had heard in May that Financial Regulatory Authority boss Mohamed Omran had tasked a committee with drafting the rules and regulations that would govern futures exchanges, which are part of a four-year strategy to develop Egypt’s non-banking financial sector. New regulations to govern short-selling are also in the works and expected to be complete by 3Q2018.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Gas pipeline deal reached with Egypt – CyBC - CYPRUS MAIL

AUGUST 6TH, 2018
Evie Andreou

Nicosia has reached an agreement with Cairo on a pipeline to connect the Aphrodite gas field in block 12 to Egypt, it was reported on Monday.

According to state broadcaster CyBC, the inter-state agreement is expected to be signed in the autumn.

The two countries had signed in 2017 a preliminary agreement to transport natural gas from Cyprus to Egypt to be liquefied at Egypt’s LNG facilities and re-exported to Europe and other markets.

CyBC, citing diplomatic sources, said that the agreement has already been given the green light by the EU and it is being scrutinised for the final touches.

Cyprus demarcated its maritime border with Egypt in 2003. The Aphrodite gas field, discovered in December 2011 by Houston-based Noble Energy, is estimated to hold some 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Edison stops gas exploration in Israel - GLOBES

6 Aug, 2018 18:47
Amiram Barkat

The market sees the decision as proof that gas exploration in Israel is not attractive due to restrictions on gas exports.
Italian company Edison, owned by a French group, one of the oldest foreign investors in the Israeli gas exploration market, has closed down its activity in Israel in recent weeks. The market is interpreting the decision as proof that gas exploration in Israel is not attractive and that the restrictions on gas exports imposed by the Tzemach Committee should be eliminated. Government sources argue that the company closed its office because of strategy changes, not because of anything involving the Israeli market.

Edison's office, managed by Octavio Viglione, was active in Israel for five years and was closed two months ago. As far as is known, the company is maintaining its connection with Lavi Capital, managed by former Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav, which provided it with consultation services and representation for years. As of now, Edison is continuing its activity in the Royee license in which it is a partner with Israeli partnership Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP (TASE:RATI.L).

Egypt to Begin Importing Israeli Gas in 2019 - HAARETZ / REUTERS

Aug 06, 2018 10:28 AM
Avi Waksman and Assa Sasson

Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings plans to start importing gas from Israel for re-export in the first quarter of 2019, sources in the country’s energy sector said on Sunday, under agreements signed in February to buy $15 billion worth of gas over 10 years. “Imports will start in small quantities first and will gradually increase to reach their climax in September 2019,” one source told Reuters. The source gave no details on prices or quantities. Partners in Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan offshore gas fields, which include Delek Group, Isramco and Ratio, said in February that they would supply Dolphinus with around 64 billion cubic meters of gas over a decade. Although controversial in Egypt, Cairo hopes that the imports will help in its efforts to become a regional energy hub. Delek shares ended up 0.4% at 528.60 shekels ($143.15). (Reuters)

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Indications that gas finds will be high in block 10 - CYPRUS MAIL

AUGUST 5, 2018
Elias Hazou

ExxonMobil and Cyprus could hit the jackpot later this year when the US energy behemoth bores down into the seabed in search for natural gas. But according to an energy analyst, the potential windfall could have broader ramifications for the government’s arrangements with other companies operating in the island’s exclusive economic zone.

Charles Ellinas tells the Sunday Mail of highly sanguine chatter inside the industry over the potential of block 10, located southwest of Cyprus and licensed to a consortium of Exxon and Qatar Petroleum.

The seismic data is extremely encouraging.

Weeks ago, Ellinas was speaking to a senior executive of one of the companies that had bid for block 10 but did not get the contract.

“He told me: ‘If they [Exxon] don’t find something big there, I’ll quit my job’.”

Natgas market regulator sets fees for private sector’s use of the state grid at USD 0.38 MMBtu - ENTERPRISE (Corrected)

Sunday, 5 August 2018

The Natural Gas Regulatory Authority set on Thursday the fee that private sector players will have to pay to use the state’s national grid to transport gas at USD 0.38 / MMBtu, according to its official website. The rate applies for the first year of the program, suggesting a revision could be in the works after the initial trial period. License fees will be calculated based on the amount of gas transferred and can be settled in EGP. The regulator will be issuing permits for different types of commercial gas market activities, including grid operations and maintenance, supply, distribution, and shipping, with different fees set for each type as follows:

  • USD 0.57/MMBtu for transmission licenses;
  • USD 0.31/MMBtu for shipping licenses;
  • USD 0.23/MMBtu for distribution licenses;
  • USD 0.08/MMBtu for supply licenses.
Permit requests must be processed within 10 working days of application and any additional documents required by the regulator must also be submitted within 10 working days. The regulator will then have 45 days to approve or deny the request and fees must be deposited within seven days of that date.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Shell starts Production in (9b) October 2018 - EAST MEDITERRANEAN GAS NEWS

Cairo August 3 2018
Suzan Nour

Rashid Petroleum Company (Rashpetco) to start production from the first two wells in phase two (9b) in the West Delta region deep waters of the Mediterranean Sea during the first half of October.

Adding eight production wells and two exploration wells will be completed in the third quarter of 2019 to reach overall production rates about 400 million cubic feet of gas and 3,000 barrels of condensate per day.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Why Is Israel Spending $500m to Protect Gas Facilities Close to Home? - HAARETZ

Aug 02, 2018 6:04 AM
Hagai Amit
The navy is ordering ships designed to protect drilling platforms far from the coast, even though they will be just 10 kilometers from the shore

The debate under way over how far offshore the natural gas production platforms should be located raises another question about why Israel’s navy is spending 430 million euros ($502 million) to buy four corvettes from Germany.

If plans to locate the facility 10 kilometers from Israel’s coast go ahead as planned, despite protests of residents near Dor Beach concerned about the environmental impact, the Israel Navy will be equipped with a fleet of expensive firepower completely disproportionate to the threats it will face.

The platform, which is being built in Texas and is due to arrive in about six months, will service the giant Leviathan field when it goes into production.

UPDATE 2-Turkey's Botas hikes natural gas price for power generation by 50 pct - sources - REUTERS

JULY 31, 2018 / 10:55 PM
Orhan Coskun
  • Turkey links gas prices to dollar
  • Energy regulation authority hikes electricity prices
  • Botas also hikes natural gas prices for residential use (Adds hikes to electricity and natural gas consumer prices)
ANKARA, July 31 (Reuters) - Turkey’s state pipeline operator Botas will hike the price of natural gas used for electricity production by 50 percent as of Wednesday, sources said.

The price hike was “inevitable” due to a weaker lira pushing oil and natural gas prices higher, as Turkey is mostly dependent on energy imports, energy sources told Reuters.

Earlier on Tuesday, the central bank hiked its crude oil price assumption to $73 from $68.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Ankara insists on East Med plans - KATHIMERINI

Cavusoglu, Turkey (L), Mogherini, EU (right)
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 1, 2018, 14:52

Recent statements from Turkish officials suggest that Ankara has no plans to back away from its energy plans in the Eastern Mediterranean, including sea areas under Cyprus’s (EU) jurisdiction.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy this week urged foreign diplomats in Cyprus not to overstep their authority. His statement was in response to comments by Israeli and Egyptian ambassadors in Nicosia during a diaspora conference between July 25 and 27.

“The remarks made by some ambassadors during a recent conference in the Greek-Cypriot administration, in support of the unilateral hydrocarbon-related activities being conducted by the Greek Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean, are unwarranted,” he said, adding that Turkey would “recommend to the representatives of the relevant countries that they do not exceed their authority.”

FinMin to impose a real estate tax on oil and gas developments - ENTERPRISE

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

EXCLUSIVE- FinMin to impose a real estate tax on oil and gas developments: The Finance Ministry is planning to impose a real estate tax on oil and gas assets, according to documents seen by Enterprise. The move appears to have been in the works for some time and according to the documents, the Finance Ministry, the EGPC and oil and gas companies have been holding meetings on how this real estate tax would be imposed. It is not yet clear whether an agreement had been reached with foreign and local energy companies with regards to the tax. Nonetheless, the ministry had drafted a framework and formula for how the new tax would work and sent it to the Oil Ministry for approval and sign off.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Government considering its gas options - CYPRUS MAIL

JULY 31, 2018
Elias Hazou

The government is said to be mulling its options after the consortium holding the license for the Aphrodite gas field proposed amending the revenue-sharing agreement with the Cypriot state.

Under the proposal recently floated by the consortium of Noble, Shell and Delek, the overall long-term revenues to the state would decline by €2.3 billion – according to daily newspaper Politis – or by up to 20 per cent compared with the current contract, daily Phileleftheros reported.

On Monday, energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis gave a behind-closed-doors briefing to MPs on the overall state of play in the hydrocarbons sector, with emphasis on Aphrodite gas.

According to information that has leaked, Lakkotrypis told lawmakers the government rejects the consortium’s specific proposal.

EGPC signs USD 46 mn oil and gas exploration agreement with BP - ENTERPRISE

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) signed a USD 46 mn agreement with BP yesterday for oil and gas exploration the in Gulf of Suez, according to a statement picked up by Ahram Gate

The agreement also includes a USD 4 mn to cover the cost of drilling three wells. The Oil Ministry said it is currently finalizing procedures for 13 other agreements that will be announced soon. 

The new agreement comes as the government steps up exploration activities in FY2018-19 as Egypt marches toward natural gas self-sufficiency and bids to become a regional energy export hub.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Building New Natural Gas Rig Off Israel's Shores Poses High Ecological Risks, Expert Warns - HAARETZ

Jul 30, 2018 10:07 PMZafrir Rinat 

One of the world’s leading experts on the environmental consequences of gas and oil pollution, Prof. Rick Steiner, is warning of the risks posed by erecting a platform only 10 kilometers from Dor Beach to process natural gas from the Leviathan gas field.

He argued that it isn’t too late to rethink the idea and instead operate a floating platform much closer to the drilling site, which lies over 100 kilometers further from shore.

Steiner spoke Monday at a press conference held by Shomrei Habayit (“Homeland Guards”) an organization representing residents of the Carmel shore region that is battling against the platform’s construction.

Steiner prepared a detailed report for Shomrei Habayit saying that operating the gas platform near the shore increases the likelihood of serious damage to the marine environment and the beach, should there be a malfunction or a hostile attack on the facility.

Steiner criticized the planning and decision-making process. He noted, among other things, that in important documents dealing with the environmental impact of the platform’s activity, large sections were redacted because Noble Energy, one of the partners operating Leviathan, claimed they contained trade secrets.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Edison to begin drilling exploratory wells in Mediterranean concessions in 2H2019 -ENTERPRISE

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Italy’s Edison will begin drilling exploratory wells at its North East Hapi and Theqa (Thekah) concessions in 2H2019, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said. 

The company’s studies of the concessions show geological structures that indicate there is a “good chance” the areas hold natural gas reserves. 

Edison had signed an USD 86 mn agreement with EGAS in January 2017 for E&P operations.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Egypt's Zohr gas field capacity to reach 2 bcfd by September: Italy's Eni - AHRAM ONLINE / REUTERS

Friday 27 Jul 2018
Italian oil company Eni said on Friday that the production capacity of Egypt’s giant Mediterranean Zohr gas field stood at 1.6 billion cubic feet (bcfd) and would reach 2 billion bcfd by September.

Eni raised 50 million euros ($58 million) as an advance on future gas supplies to Egyptian state-owned partners to finance Zohr, the statement added.

Zohr, located in the offshore Shorouk block about 190 km north of Port Said, was discovered in 2015 and holds an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Production from the giant offhore Zohr field started in December 2017.

In April, Eni said Zohr had a reached capacity of 800 MMSCFD, or 150,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day.

The company said production increases are set to continue in order to reach 1.2 bcfd last May, 2 bcfd by end 2018, finally plateauing at 2.7 BCFD in 2019.

Egypt has been seeking to speed up production from recently discovered fields, with an eye to halting imports by 2019.

Maloney Praises NDAA Provision Holding Turkey Accountable for Its Aggressions - US CONGRESS

Jul 27, 2018
Press Release

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), co-chair and co-founder of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, released the following statement after the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 which includes provisions holding Turkey accountable for its aggressions. The Congresswoman represents one of the largest communities of Hellenic Americans in the country.

“I am glad to see that the NDAA conferees agreed that the immediate transfer of F-35s to Turkey should be paused and reassessed. I have joined many colleagues in opposing this transfer.

“There are numerous examples of Turkey’s persistent aggression and destabilizing activity in the Eastern Mediterranean today. Turkey must be held accountable by the U.S. for its provocative behavior that threatens our allies. Turkey continues to intimidate and interfere with the companies operating in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone to explore and extract natural gas in violation of Cyprus’s sovereign claims to its territory. I am pleased that the United States is making clear that we stand with our allies and that Turkey’s unacceptable behavior needs to stop.”

Washington backs Cyprus's EEZ rights - KATHIMERINI

FRIDAY JULY 27, 2018, 21:55

US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Francis Fannon expressed Washington’s support Friday for Cyprus’s right to exploit the natural resources within its own exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Turkey has warned that it will not allow Cyprus to drill for and exploit gas reserves in its EEZ unless Turkish Cypriots in the island’s Turkish-occupied north are included in the project.

Fannon met in Athens with Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis and government officials and conveyed Washington’s plaudits for Greece’s efforts to become an energy transit hub with its participation in the South Stream and the Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) pipelines.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Israel Stays Mum as Development Work Begins at Giant Cyprus Gas Field - HAARETZ

Jul 24, 2018 10:49 PM
Ora Coren

Countries have failed to agree on rights of license holders in adjacent Israeli field, but Aphrodite partners begin development anyway

After years of delays, development of Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas field is getting under way without any Israeli government role, even though part of Aphrodite’s reservoir lies in Israeli economic waters and is licensed by the government for development.

Critics say Israel’s inaction jeopardizes not only 3 billion shekels ($820 million) in future tax revenues but also its ability to guarantee its stakes in other reservoirs shared with neighboring countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“It’s not clear, to say the least, why the government is acting this way, in particular the inexplicable ease with which it could cause a loss of 3 billion shekels in taxes,” said Rony Halman, the chairman of Israel Opportunity, a partner in the Ishai field adjacent to Aphrodite.

“The inaction of the Israeli government also threatens to create a dangerous precedent in connection with other joint reservoirs we have with our neighbors — Lebanon and Egypt,” Halman told TheMarker.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Cyprus vows to safeguard ExxonMobil offshore oil and gas search - OFFSHORE TECHNOLOGY

23 JULY 2018
Talal Husseini

Cypriot Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis has announced that the government will do everything necessary to ensure ExxonMobil’s offshore oil and gas search runs smoothly, despite threats from Turkey.

The US oil giant, together with Qatar Petroleum, holds an exploration licence for Block 10 located in the south-west of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Lakkotrypis added that the dispute with Turkey should not hinder the government’s energy programme.

He said: “The procedures for Exxon to obtain the necessary permits are proceeding as planned and two wells will be carried out in Q4. What’s important is that we progress according to our timeframe and planning.”

Asked whether the US Air Force will be deployed to monitor ExxonMobil’s drilling activity, as reported in Cyprus’s largest daily newspaper the Phileleftheros, he added: “We take all necessary measures so that the two drills will proceed without any unforeseen developments. That is why you see that we are diplomatically more active as the time for these drills gets closer.”

SDX Hits Gas Onshore Egypt - RIGZONE

Monday, July 23, 2018
Andreas Exarheas

North Africa focused oil and gas company, SDX Energy Inc., announced Monday that a gas discovery has been made at its onshore SD-3X well, in Egypt’s South Disouq Concession.

The well was drilled to a total depth of 7,842 feet and encountered 32.6 feet of net conventional natural gas pay in the Abu Madi and Kafr el Sheik horizons, SDX said in a company statement. SD-3X will now be completed as a producer in the Abu Madi horizon and then tested after the drilling rig has moved off location.

“The discovery of gas in both the Abu Madi and Kafr el Sheik horizons is a very positive outcome for the SD-3X well,” Paul Welch, president and CEO of SDX, said in a company statement.

“We will now analyze the data from all four wells drilled in the South Disouq campaign, as well as reprocessing and inverting the existing 3D seismic we have on the concession. Upon interpretation of this data, and completion of the new 3D survey later this year, we expect to identify further Abu Madi and Kafr el Sheik prospectivity for drilling in 2019 and 2020,” he added.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

All necessary measures being taken for Exxon drilling, minister says - CYPRUS MAIL

JULY 22, 2018 

Cyprus is taking all necessary measures to ensure that US energy giant, ExxonMobil’s exploratory programme in the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) proceeds smoothly, Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said on Sunday.

He also reiterated that developments on the Cyprus problem should not affect the country’s energy programme.

ExxonMobil, which along with Qatar Petroleum has been awarded the exploration licence in block 10, will carry out two exploration wells in the fourth quarter 2018, Lakkotrypis said, speaking to the press in Larnaca.

“The procedures for Exxon to obtain the necessary licences are proceeding as planned and two wells will be carried out in Q4,” he said.

Lakkotrypis did not elaborate on the licences which the company should obtain.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Egypt hikes natural gas prices by up to 75 percent - THE SEATTLE TIMES / AP

July 21, 2018 at 9:41 am

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt raised natural gas prices for households and businesses on Saturday by between 33.3 and 75 percent, the latest among tough austerity measures aimed at rebuilding the country’s economy battered by years of unrest since a 2011 uprising.

The government’s decision, published in the official gazette on Saturday, should come into effect starting August. It sets the price for gas consumption of up to 30 cubic meters to 0.175 Egyptian pounds up from 0.100 pounds per cubic meter, an increase of 75 percent.

Meanwhile, gas consumption between 30-60 cubic meters went up by 42.8 percent, from 0.175 Egyptian pounds to 0.250 pounds per cubic meter. Consumption of over 60 cubic meters was upped by 33.3 percent, from 0.225 pounds to 0.300 pounds per cubic meter.

The move is likely to further fan the flames of popular discontent, especially among poor and middle-class Egyptians who have borne the brunt of the government’s economic reform program.

Turkey’s Rise Sparks New Friendship Between Israel and Greece - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

B.Netanyahu (L), N.Anastasiades (C), A.Tsipras, May 2018,Cyprus

July 21, 2018 7:00 a.m. ETYaroslav Trofimov

Greece’s leftist Syriza party ditches its antagonism toward Israel and cooperates with Netanyahu’s government as Ankara asserts power in region
ATHENS—It’s hard to find a better example of how geopolitical realities trump ideology than the blossoming friendship between Israel and Greece.

As the leader of Greece’s leftist Syriza party before gaining office in 2015, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called to expel Israel’s ambassador and close Greek ports to U.S. arms shipments heading to Israel.

Syriza’s leftist allies in Europe still demonize Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing government. Many of them back the boycott, sanctions and disinvestment campaign against Israel.

Not Mr. Tsipras—who intensified cooperation with Israel instead. The leaders of Israel, Greece and Cyprus are holding regular trilateral summits—the fourth was in May—and the Israeli air force uses Greek airspace for training. The three countries, plus Egypt, are jointly developing the eastern Mediterranean’s natural-gas reserves.

The key reason for all this: Turkey.

DEEPS looks to tap into promising potential of Oil and Gas sector in Lebanon - ZAWYA

21 JULY, 2018

Beirut: A new specialized oil and gas services company, DEEPS, opened office in Lebanon recently. It was formed as an investment that looks to serve international companies that will be operating offshore the Lebanese coasts through an integrated package of the industry’s services. DEEPS is committed to provide its Lebanese and international partners excellence in service and results.

The new firm was founded by an elite group of investors and partners who possess a massive know-how and industry expertise, including well-known figures in the gas rich Egyptian market, namely Salah Hafez and Hesham Ismail who commanded high positions in the oil and gas industry and were part of the North African nation’s rise in the sector during the last decades.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Snam-led consortium in 535 mln euro deal for stake in Greece's gas grid operator DESFA- INDIA TIMES / REUTERS

July 20, 2018, 16:39 IST

ATHENS: A consortium led by Italy's Snam will take a majority stake in Greek gas grid operator DESFA under a 535 million euro ($623 million) deal signed on Friday, the country's HRADF privatisation agency said.

A consortium of Snam, Spain's Enagas Internacional and Belgium's Fluxys will buy a 66 percent stake from the government and top Greek oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum .