Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Cyprus, Egypt sign gas pipeline agreement - CYPRUS MAIL

TEKMOR note: Great news for the region,not just Egypt & Cyprus.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2018
George Psyllides

Egypt and Cyprus on Wednesday signed an agreement for the construction of an underwater pipeline to export natural gas to Egypt.

The deal was signed at the presidential palace by Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Egypt’s Oil Minister Tarek el Molla.

Lakkotrypis said the agreement aimed at ensuring the timely and safe development, construction, and operation of an underwater pipeline directly to Egypt through the two countries’ exclusive economic zones.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Cyprus, Egypt Set to Sign Deal for Offshore Gas Pipeline - NEW YORK TIMES / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sept. 18, 2018

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Europe stands to gain from an agreement Egypt is set to sign with the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus to pipe offshore natural gas to processing plants in the north African country where it will be liquefied for export, Egypt's oil minister said Tuesday.

Tarek el-Molla said that under the terms of the agreement, gas off Cyprus could also be used for Egypt's domestic needs.

"So it is really a way to have ... good, win-win positions for not only Cyprus and Egypt, but also for Europe," El-Molla told reporters after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

Cyprus' energy minister, Georgios Lakkotrypis, called the agreement— to be signed Wednesday — a first of its kind for the region that could bolster Europe's energy security.

Lakkotrypis said the agreement could act as an example for other neighboring countries to offer oil and gas companies the kind of security on their investment so they can proceed with projects worth billions.

The Cypriot minister said the agreement concerns building a pipeline from the Aphrodite deposit — estimated to contain around 4.5 trillion cubic feet (130 billion cubic meters) of gas — to Egypt. But it can apply to other gas fields that may be discovered off the island in the future.

"This is a European pipeline because the natural gas that will be conveyed to Egypt from Aphrodite, after the commercial agreements are completed, will find its way to Europe in liquefied form," Lakkotrypis said.

Talks to hammer out a commercial deal for the pipeline will start soon, he said.

Italian company Eni has discovered another gas deposit southwest of Cyprus, but its size hasn't been determined yet. ExxonMobil will begin a hydrocarbon search off Cyprus later this year. France's Total is also licensed to search for gas.

Cyprus and Egypt geared up to sign pipeline agreement - CYPRUS MAIL

Lakkotrypis (R) welcoming El Molla (L) in Cyprus
September 18, 2018 
Peter Michael

Cyprus and Egypt will sign an agreement for an underwater natural gas pipeline on Wednesday, set to be the first of its type for the region, Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said on Tuesday.

Lakkotrypis and his Egyptian counterpart Tarek el Molla had held a meeting in the evening with President Nicos Anastasiades, where they informed him about the negotiations regarding the bilateral pipeline agreement.

A representative from the European Council will also be present at the signing ceremony to be held on Wednesday.

Following the meeting, the president said in a tweet that the agreement for the transfer of natural gas from the Aphrodite field in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone “is an important milestone” for the field’s exploitation.

“We are looking toward the establishment of a dedicated corridor that will consist of different infrastructures to supply gas to the EU from the Eastern Mediterranean,” Anastasiades tweeted.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Socar, Qatari firm proposals for Crete energy sufficiency issue - ENERGY PRESS


LNG usage and the establishment of a floating regasification terminal for gas-fueled electricity generation at power stations are the common factors of at least two proposals to be presented this week to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, as possible solutions for the Crete’s looming energy shortage problem as of 2020.

An exemption to EU law concerning power station emission limits for local high-polluting units, such as those operating on Crete, is set to expire in December, 2019.

An Athens-Crete interconnection plan that would resolve resulting power insufficiency issues on the island has fallen behind schedule and prompted the need for solutions until the project’s launch.

Opinion writers are mad we are losing at int’l arbitration - ENTERPRISE

Monday, 17 September 2018

Opinion writers, unhappy Egypt is “losing” at int’l arbitration, simply miss the point: Since the USD 2 bn ruling handed down by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes in favor of Union Fenosa, opinion writers have expressed frustration at this “losing streak.” Ziad Bahaa El Din is urging in Al Shorouk the government to review all its oil and gas contracts to avoid losing future arbitration hearings. Mohamed Saleh concurs in AMAY, urging the government to seek the expertise of legal minds. AMAY’s Newton is complaining about the size of the loses, which he claims have reached EGP 38 bn, while AMAY’s Mohamed Abu Al Ghar is suggesting that the officials who have signed the contracts to be corrupt.

All four miss the point: None of them explain to their readers why we failed to meet our natural gas export obligations (it’s called “force [redacted] majeure” for a reason, people) —and none get the point that settling outstanding disputes is key to Egypt’s aim of emerging as the eastern Med’s premier energy hub.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Egypt signs two new oil drilling agreements - EGYPT INDEPENDENT

September 16, 2018 / 6:56 pmHend El-Behary

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has signed two new oil and gas exploration agreements to explore two deep water areas at the Mediterranean Sea and Western Sahara with Canadian, British, Dutch, Malaysian and Kuwaiti companies, for a minimum investment of more than US $ 1 billion.

The first agreement is with the Egyptian Petroleum Authority, Shell International and Malaysia’s Petronas companies in the deep West Delta maritime region at the Mediterranean, with investments of about $ 1 billion to begin drilling eight new wells.

The second agreement is with the Petroleum Authority, the Kuwaiti energy companies, the Canadian Dover and Rockhopper to explore the Western Sahara with investments of $10 million and a $2 million signing grant to drill four wells.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Egypt, Greece, Cyprus FMs hold talks in Cairo - EGYPT INDEPENDENT / AL-MASRY AL-YOUM

September 15, 2018 // 12:44 pm

Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and Greek Foreign Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias arrived in Cairo on Friday afternoon to meet Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry for three-way talks.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Israel, Greece, Cyprus plan underwater gas pipeline - ARUTZ SHEVA 7

13/SEPT/2018 // 23:00

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, held a trilateral meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides. He also met with both men separately.

The three discussed, in continuation of previous meetings, the laying of a joint Israel-Cyprus-Greece East-Med gas pipeline in order to export gas to Europe. They also discussed – inter alia – regional issues, the deepening of cooperation and the initiative to establish a multi-national firefighting force.

"Foreign Minister Christodoulides and Foreign Minister Kotzias, this is one of our regular meetings between Israel, Greece and Cyprus. We have many things that we cooperate on—the environment, energy, security, emergency services, tourism, many others,” said Netanyahu.

“Our prime focus right now is on energy, on developing the eastern Mediterranean pipeline. It’s a great project, could be one of the great underwater projects in the world. And obviously it’s something that we think is important.

Bulgaria-Greece Gas Pipeline Project Receives Initial Bids - NOVINITE / REUTERS

September 13, 2018, Thursday // 09:53
Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Edmund Blair

Italy’s Saipem, a consortium including Azeri state firm SOCAR and nine other groups or firms have submitted initial bids to build a gas pipeline between Bulgaria and Greece, the company overseeing delivery of the project said.

ICGB launched a tender in April for design, procurement and construction of the 182-km (113-mile) pipeline that is estimated to cost 145 million euros (8 million). The contract winner will have 18 months to complete the project.

Other firms which have filed initial bids also include Italy’s Sicim, Greek company J&P Avax, Turkey’s Fernas, a group including Sicilsaldo, Nuova Ghizzoni and Inrakat, and a consortium of Germany’s Max Streicher and Greece’s Terna.

ICGB will draw up a shortlist of final bidders.

Sofia plans to use the pipeline to receive one billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz 2 gas field after 2020, ending its almost complete reliance on Russian gas supplies.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Upgraded LNG terminal set for launch amid US interest - ENERGY PRESS

12 SEPT 2018

A third storage tank added to an LNG terminal at Revythoussa, an islet close to Athens, is set for its commercial launch between late October and early November, slightly behind schedule.

The new tank, which promises to increase the facility’s overall capacity to 225,000 cubic meters, almost double its previous size, is currently undergoing test runs.

The facility’s capacity upgrade represents a pivotal development for the LNG terminal, a key asset belonging to DESFA, the natural gas grid operator, whose 66 percent is being privatized. A consortium comprised of Italy’s Snam, Spain’s Enagás Internacional and Belgium’s Fluxys has emerged as the winning bidder with a 535 million-euro offer.

DESFA is already engaged in talks with Greek and foreign firms interested in utilizing the upgraded facility and reserving capacities. They include two US firms, Cheniere and Tellurian, amid initiatives being taken for American gas imports into Greece. Cheniere and Tellurian have enquired about usage fees, capacities, technical details and port capabilities.

All firms interested in utilizing the upgraded LNG terminal at Revythoussa have made clear they are eyeing both the Greek market and the wider region to the north.

Lebanon’s second licensing round: Lessons learned and the case for stability - MIDDLE EAST STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVES / EXECUTIVE MAGAZINE

September 12, 2018

Preparations for the launching of Lebanon’s second offshore licensing round have begun. The Lebanese Petroleum Administration has published a tentative timeline for the tender, which will be officially launched by the end of 2018. The process, including the pre-qualification phase, will extend over a period of one year.

Natural Gas Regulatory Authority postpones issuance of natgas import licenses - ENTERPRISE

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The Natural Gas Regulatory Authority has postponed the issuance of natural gas import licenses to private sector companies, saying the private sector is “unprepared,”according to an EGAS source. EGAS has renewed preliminary approval to grant Qalaa Holdings’ TAQA Arabia, BB Energy and Fleet Energy the import licenses, effectively giving them additional time after all three allegedly failed to submit paperwork to obtain the final license, according to the source. The preliminary approvals, which are renewed every six months unless a permanent license is obtained, must be ratified by the authority.

Take this with a grain of salt: When all three companies fail to file paperwork on time, that’s not the private sector being “unprepared,” it’s the business sending a message to government about license terms — and the regulator putting on some pressure in public. We suspect we’re not the only ones who hear echoes here of round one in the solar energy feed-in-tariff imbroglio.

Background: The authority was given the green light in July to begin issuing and revoking licenses for private players in the natural gas industry, a move that was made possible by the deregulation of the sector through the Natural Gas Act. Sources had said at the time that the first import license would likely be issued before the end of 2018.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Greece on the energy map, with the support of big players - KATHIMERINI

Anastasiades, Tsipras (C), Netanyahu (R)
TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 11, 2018, 15:12

There has been a serious uptick in activity concerning the energy sector in the broader region in the past few months and Greece has a potentially pivotal role to play in developments.

This week, the foreign ministers of Greece and Cyprus will meet in Athens and then travel to Israel for talks with Benjamin Netanyahu, in his capacity as foreign affairs chief. Apart from the broader framework of cooperation in other areas, energy will be high on the agenda.

US energy giant ExxonMobil is planning to start exploratory drilling in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone, and in the face of Turkey’s unpredictable behavior Nicosia is counting on the support of Israel, which it sees not just as a major player in the area and a member of the tripartite alliance with Greece, but also as a bridge with the United States, even more so thanks to the close personal relationship between the Israeli prime minister and the American president.

Monday, September 10, 2018

EGAS renews initial approvals for BB energy, Taqa, Energy Fleet for gas importation - DAILY NEWS EGYPT

10 September 2018
Mohamed Adel

EGAS has renewed the approvals for the companies BB, Taqa and Fleet Energy on the licenses for natural or liquefied gas importation to provide it within the local market, after the licenses expired and the companies did not submit the required data to obtain the licenses.

A source at EGAS told Daily News Egypt that the three companies that obtained the initial approvals for the licenses have not submitted the data related to the importation body and the supplied amounts, as well as the client, with which there is a contract to obtain gas in the local market.

He explained that the initial approval on the import licenses is renewed every six months, and the companies applying to import gas have not taken any real steps to obtain the final licenses.

The private sector companies that obtained initial approvals are Energy Fleet, headed by Essam Kafafy, located in Panama, in addition to BB Energy, owned by a Lebanese Family, located in London. In addition, Taqa Arabia, owned by several funding gulf companies, in cooperation with Egyptian Qalaa Company.

Italy's Eni boosts output at Egypt's Zohr gas field to 57 million cu m/d - PLATTS

10 Sep 2018 | 10:17 UTC
Author: Stuart Elliott; Editor: Jon Fox

London — Italy's Eni has increased production at its supergiant Zohr field offshore Egypt to 2 Bcf/d (57 million cu m/d) following the startup of the project's fifth production unit.

Zohr started production in December 2017 -- just 28 months after its discovery -- and is on track to reach plateau production of 2.7 Bcf/d next year.

The production peak -- the equivalent of almost 29 Bcm/year -- would represent more than half of Egypt's current gas demand of around 52 Bcm.

Egypt -- which until recently was a fairly stable exporter of both LNG and pipeline gas -- began importing LNG in April 2015 to fill a growing supply-demand gap caused by a major slowdown in domestic gas development.

But with the startup of Zohr and other gas fields in Egypt, the country expects to halt LNG imports by the end of 2018 and become an exporter of gas again in 2019.

"Zohr [...] is playing a fundamental role in supporting Egypt's independence from LNG imports," Eni said.

Zohr is the largest deepwater gas field offshore Egypt, and the biggest discovered to date in the Mediterranean with an estimated 850 Bcm (30 Tcf) of reserves.

It is located within the offshore Shorouk block 190km north of Port Said.

Eni holds a 50% stake in the block together with Russia's Rosneft (30%), BP (10%) and the UAE's Mubadala Petroleum (10%).

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Egypt gas output at 6.6 bln cubic feet per day -official - REUTERS

SEPTEMBER 8, 2018 / 11:38 AM
Reporting by Ehab Farouk, writing by John Davison; editing by Alexander Smith

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s natural gas output has risen to 6.6 billion cubic feet per day after an increase in production at its mammoth Zohr offshore gas field, an energy official said on Saturday.

Output at Zohr rose to 2 billion cubic feet per day, the petroleum ministry said on Friday.

Egypt aims to be a regional hub for the trade of liquefied natural gas (LNG) after a string of major discoveries in recent years including Zohr, which holds an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Energy deals with US giants announced in Thessaloniki - KATHIMERINI

Mark Menezes addressed the AmCham energy conference
in Thessaloniki on Friday
07.SEPT.2018 : 21:28
Chryssa Liaggou

Major energy deals involving Greek and US interests were announced at Friday’s American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce conference held in the context of this year’s Thessaloniki International Fair, which officially opens on Saturday.

In the presence of US Under Secretary for Energy Mark Menezes, US Ambassador in Athens Geoffrey Pyatt and ExxonMobil representative Tristan Aspray, Greece’s Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis announced the completion of negotiations for the concession contract regarding the surveying and utilization of hydrocarbons south and southwest of Crete with the Total-ExxonMobil-Hellenic Petroleum consortium. He added that the contract will be signed next week.

In the context of the conference in Greece’s second city, Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and Gastrade also signed the agreement for the participation of DEPA with a 20 percent stake in the terminal floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) that Gastrade is developing off Alexandroupoli in Thrace. Sources say some issues on the price and the approval of board members are still pending, while DEPA’s final stake could change, depending on the other holdings that may emerge.

New Alliance Emerges in Eastern Mediterranean to Reshape Regional Security Landscape - STRATEGIC CULTURE FOUNDATION


The military-political landscape in Europe and the Mediterranean is changing. NATO is not as unified as it once was, and Turkey’s membership has become more of a formality than a real thing. A pro-US group consisting of Great Britain, Poland, and the Baltic States has emerged as part of a North Atlantic Alliance that is divided by differences and the open rift over the 2% financial contribution, a decree that is largely ignored, along with the other divisions that are weakening the bloc. Other groups are arising that also have common security interests. A new pact, an Arab NATO allied with the United States, will soon materialize in the Middle East. Changes are coming, but they are hard to predict as everything is currently in a state of flux.

“The United States is interested in increasing its use of military bases and ports in Greece,” said General Joseph Dunford, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), on Sept. 4 during his visit to Athens. “If you look at geography, and you look at current operations in Libya, and you look at current operations in Syria, you look at potential other operations in the eastern Mediterranean, the geography of Greece and the opportunities here are pretty significant,” he added. According to the Military Times, “[N]o specific bases have been identified, but that Supreme Allied Commander Europe Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti is evaluating several options for increased US flight training, port calls to do forward-based ship repairs and additional multilateral exercises.” US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross came to Greece right after the CJCS’s visit to take part in the annual Thessaloniki International Trade Fair.

France looks to develop defenceco-operation with Cyprus - REGINA LEADER-POST / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, right,
and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian
September 7, 2018

NICOSIA, Cyprus — France’s foreign minister says his country is looking to bolster defenceco-operation with Cyprus that could help augment Europe’s presence in the east Mediterranean.

Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday after talks with his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides that France wants a more united, democratic and sovereign Europe “whose voice is heard with greater power in the world.”

Christodoulides said Cyprus is ready to work with France to fulfil the ambition of French President Emmanuel Macron that Europe takes more responsibility for its own defence.

French warships often use the east Mediterranean island-nation — some 100 miles (160 kilometres) from Syria’s coastline — as a resupply and refuelling stop.

The two ministers also discussed expanding energy co-operation.

French company Total is already licensed to search for hydrocarbons off Cyprus’ southern coast.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Gas pipeline deal reached with Egypt – CyBC - CYPRUS MAIL

AUGUST 6, 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.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Management Committee reviews progress of TurkStream project - GAZPROM

September 5, 2018, 16:40

The Gazprom Management Committee reviewed the current status of the TurkStream project.

It was noted that the project was going according to schedule. Specifically, the deep-water pipelaying for the offshore part of the gas pipeline’s first string had been completed in the Black Sea along with the construction of the second string in Russia’s exclusive economic zone. On June 26, 2018, the Pioneering Spirit vessel had started to lay the second string in the Turkish exclusive economic zone. As of today, over 1,520 kilometers of the two strings are ready, which translates into about 81 per cent of the overall length of TurkStream’s offshore section.

Particular attention at the meeting was paid to the efforts being taken on the coasts of Russia and Turkey. It was highlighted that the landfall near the Russian town of Anapa had been completed and the continuing start-up and commissioning operations would be finished in 2018 together with landscaping. In addition, a receiving terminal is being constructed in the coastal area near the Turkish settlement of Kiyikoy.

Gov’t hints at willingness to settle on Union Fenosa arbitration ruling - ENTERPRISE

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Gov’t hints at willingness to settle on Union Fenosa arbitration ruling: It is the general policy of the government, and the Oil Ministry specifically, to seek a settlement in international arbitration cases, an Oil Ministry source told Al Mal

His statements are the first we’ve heard since news broke that the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes ordered Egypt to pay USD 2 bn in settlements yesterday to Spanish-Italian JV Union Fenosa Gas (UGS) for the government cutting off supplies to UGS’ Damietta liquefaction plant. 

The source noted that the ministry is carefully studying the ruling before issuing an official statement on the matter, but added that the ministry was intending to resupply the plant and other liquefaction plants as its regional energy hub strategy gains steam. Supplies of natural gas will be restored by 2019, the source noted.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Israel's Ratio Oil expected to sign Philippines exploration deal - INDIA TIMES / REUTERS

REUTERS | September 04, 2018, 18:17 IST

TEL AVIV: Israel's Ratio Oil Exploration is expected to sign a long-awaited deal on Tuesday to search for oil and gas in the Philippines, a spokesman for Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said.

Ratio was not available for immediate comment.

The company in 2015 was one of a number of foreign firms to be awarded an exploration deal. Ratio won the so-called East Palawan block, a 416,000-hectare oil and gas prospect off of Palawan, a southeastern province near the South China Sea.

But the award was delayed due to legal issues involving a previous exploration contract covering that block.

Duterte is visiting Israel this week. During his visit, Israel and the Philippines signed an agreement promoting foreign investments between the two countries.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Egypt to pay Spanish-Italian JV $2bn in natural gas dispute - FINANCIAL TIMES

3 September 2018
Myles McCormick and David Sheppard

Ruling by World Bank panel poised to accelerate resumption of country’s LNG exports
A joint venture between Spain’s Naturgy and Italy’s Eni has been awarded a $2bn settlement from Egypt over gas supplies by a World Bank arbitration body, in a move that could accelerate the resumption of the country’s liquefied natural gas exports.

The ruling by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes comes after Egypt stopped supplying gas to Unión Fenosa Gas joint venture’s Damietta LNG plant as the country faced internal energy shortages in the wake of the political turmoil unleashed by the Arab Spring.

Unión Fenosa Gas took its case to the ICSID in 2014. The arbitration body on Monday found that in stopping the gas supply Egypt had failed to grant Unión Fenosa Gas “fair and equitable treatment”, contravening the country’s bilateral investment protection treaty with Spain, Naturgy said in a statement.

The $2bn is likely to be paid in the form of renewed gas supplies to Damietta rather than in cash, according to people familiar with the matter.

Naturgy, formerly known as Gas Natural Fenosa, said the award would allow it to reach a “comprehensive agreement” with Egypt to resume gas supplies to the plant, which were halted four years ago.

A big bonanza, but a tough sell - SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS NEWS

September 3, 2018
Jordan Blum

At a time when energy companies are positioning themselves for a lower-carbon world by investing heavily in natural gas, it would seem relatively easy to sell them on developing huge reserves of the cleaner-burning fuel. That is, unless those reserves are in the territorial waters of Israel.

Nearly a decade after natural gas was discovered off its coast, Israel is still struggling to enlist foreign firms to explore its vast deposits in the Mediterranean Sea, in part because oil and gas companies are wary of alienating Arab countries in which they have long done business. So far only one foreign company, Houston-based Noble Energy, is operating there. And last year, when Israel launched its first-ever auction of offshore blocks, it attracted just two bidders — a Greek company and a group from India.

This history is what brought Shay Luvshis to Houston. Luvshis, 38, is Israel’s energy consul, sent to Texas to recruit American and international oil and gas companies to explore Israeli waters in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. About year after opening an office, the Energy Ministry’s first outside of Israel, Luvshis says he and other officials have held advanced talks with Exxon Mobil, the French oil major Total and the Australian oil and gas company Woodside Petroleum, among others.

Exxon Mobil and Total declined to comment. Woodside said it regularly reviews opportunities around the world.

“If everything had gone well” in the past, Luvhsis said, “we wouldn’t be here. Israel is the new kid on the block as an emerging energy region.”

Greece presses the E&P button - PETROLEUM ECONOMIST

3 September 2018

Gerald Butt

Plans for deep-water exploration have raised hopes of an eventual major natural gas discovery, while onshore oil development is progressing slowly

In a modest, modern building tucked away in a leafy residential street close to the centre of Athens a major energy transition is being managed. The building is home to Hellenic Hydrocarbons Resources Management (HHRM). Since 2011, this state-owned company has been revitalising what had become a near-moribund energy sector.

HHRM exudes vigour, taking its cue, perhaps, from president and chief executive Yannis Bassias. Not so, he insisted, in an interview with Petroleum Economist. He said the firm's youthful vitality stemmed not from him but from the staff themselves: "When you take me out of the statistics, the average age here is 34, so this is great. We have a staff of just 17, we don't need any more."

This lean team has just pulled off a considerable coup, hooking super-major ExxonMobil into Greece's upstream, in partnership with Total, which already had a presence there. The latest move, many believe, will eventually see Greece emerge as a significant player on the East Mediterranean energy stage. Greek deputy energy minister Michalis Verroiopoulos told Petroleum Economist that "these days we're focussing on promoting hydrocarbons exploration in Greece—there's a new dynamism to it. We're very happy having huge companies like Exxon and Total deciding to invest here." 

Egypt to restore exports of gas to Jordan to pre-2009 levels - ENTERPRISE

Monday, 3 September 2018

Egypt plans to ramp up gas exports to Jordan to their pre-2009 levels, an Oil Ministry official tells Al Masdar. Egypt and Jordan plan to sign a new export agreement before the year is out that would see Egypt export around 250 mcf/d of gas that the kingdom would use to fire electricity generation stations, the source added. Egypt had committed to export 250 mcf/d to Jordan under a 2004 agreement. Export levels started falling in 2009 before being stopped after the events of 25 January 2011, causing losses to the Jordanian government of around JOD 5 bn (USD 7 bn), according to previous statements by Jordan’s Energy Minister Hala Zawati. Cairo and Amman signed an amendment to the 2004 agreement last month under which Cairo will supply c. 10% of Amman’s natural gas needs.

Gov’t giving oil majors friendlier terms in production sharing contracts - ENTERPRISE

Monday, 3 September 2018

Gov’t giving oil majors friendlier terms in production sharing contracts: The Oil Ministry is looking to keep international oil companies happy, having recently rolled out new production sharing contracts with some IOCs that leave the companies larger shares of profits from concessions in a bid to cut the time it takes for the companies to hit profitability on any one concession, ministry sources tell Al Masdar

The changes include eliminating a clause in the model contract that required the companies cede a additional points in their concessions to the government every two years. The new agreements also apparently raise the cost-recovery ceiling to 40% of the oil or gas produced by a concession, up from 35%, the newspaper claims. Oil and gas companies were consulted during the drafting of the changes and their recommendations factored into the changes, the source said. 

Caveat lector: The single-source story doesn’t cite anyone from the private sector, so we’ll be looking into this in a bit more detail in the days ahead.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Israeli energy firm Delek Q2 profit dips on North Sea weakness - REUTERS

AUGUST 30, 2018 / 11:56 AM

JERUSALEM, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Israeli energy conglomerate Delek Group reported lower quarterly profit on Thursday, hurt by a loss from exploration and production (E&P) business in the North Sea at its Ithaca Energy unit.

Delek said it earned 170 million shekels ($47 million) in the second quarter, compared with 180 million a year earlier when a gain from the purchase of Ithaca boosted profits.

Ithaca, wholly owned by Delek, contributed a 32 million shekel loss to Delek’s bottom line versus a 47 million shekel profit a year earlier. The decline was caused by a nearly one-month operational standstill to connect a floating production facility in June.

Revenue rose to 2.1 billion shekels from 1.6 billion, boosted by higher sales at its Delek Israel unit but partly offset by the sale of 9.25 percent of its holdings in the Tamar natural gas field off Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

Tamar’s gas sales hit a new quarterly record of 2.6 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the second quarter.

In addition to a stake in Tamar, Delek, through a subsidiary, has a major share in the nearby Leviathan gas field.

Eni Makes New Gas Discovery in Egypt - RIGZONE

Thursday, August 30, 2018Valerie Jones

Italian oil and gas company Eni S.p.A. has made a new gas discovery in the Egyptian Western Desert, the company announced Aug. 30.

The discovery well has been drilled on the Faramid South exploration prospect located in East Obayed concession, 30 km North-West of the Melehia Concession

The well was drilled on the Faramid South exploration prospect in East Obayed Concession, 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) northwest of the Melehia Concession and reached a target depth of 17,000 feet.

The discovery well has been open to production delivering 25 million cubic square feet per day, confirming the East Obayed Concession’s potential, the company said.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Eni said to be in talks with Shell to connect Western Desert well with processing plant in Obayed - ENTERPRISE

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Italian oil and gas giant Eni is reportedly in talks with Royal Dutch Shell to begin pumping a daily 23 mcf of gas from a well in its Western Desert concession to the company’s processing plant in Obayed, unnamed EGAS officials said yesterday

The Faramit well will be closed until the two sides agree on the terms of constructing a pipeline connecting the field to the facility, they added. 

No further details were provided.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Egypt highlights benefits of Cyprus gas renegotiations - CYPRUS MAIL

AUGUST 27, 2018
Evie Andreou 

Egypt has nothing to fear from the ongoing renegotiations concerning the Cyprus natural gas deal, an Egyptian official has said.

In an interview with Ahram online, the former vice president of the Egyptian Petroleum Authority, Medhat Youssef, said that Cyprus’ renegotiation with energy companies over the revenue sharing agreement for the 4.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) Aphrodite gas field find is a normal procedure that should be undertaken if there is a change in the market, including oil prices.

Youssef said that any changes in the agreement would only guarantee benefits for every side involved including Egypt, Cyprus and foreign investors.

Cyprus’ cabinet last week appointed a committee to enter talks with energy companies. Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said that the best option would be to try and find a mutually acceptable solution with the consortium so that the Aphrodite reserve is developed as soon as possible.

14 private companies apply for natgas distribution licenses - ENTERPRISE

Monday, 27 August 2018

14 unnamed private Egyptian companies have submitted requests to the Natural Gas Regulatory Authority for licenses for the local distribution of natural gas, a source from the regulator said

Another two private companies are expected to submit their own requests within the next week, according to the source. 

The authority had set earlier this month the fees that private sector players will be required to pay to use the state’s national grid to transport gas, in addition to the fees for different types of permits and licenses.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Wafa–Mellitah gas pipeline fire in Libya causes no significant damage: NOC - OIL REVIEW MIDDLE EAST

Sunday, 26 August 2018 06:00

Fire outbreak next to a station on Libya’s Wafa-Mellitah gas pipeline was extinguished without causing significant damage, said Libya’s National Oil Corp (NOC) in a statement.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the arson was carried out with rocket-propelled grenades, gasoline and burnt car tyres found at the scene,” stated NOC.

Industrial Security Departments at the NOC and Mellitah complex closely worked with the Petroleum Facilities Guard and relevant authorities to investigate the incident and identify its perpetrators.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Foreign oil, gas investments in Egypt hit $10 bln in 2017-18 - minister - REUTERS

CAIRO, AUGUST 24, 2018 / 5:46 PM 
Reporting by Ali Abdelaty, writing by John Davison; Editing by Jan Harvey

Foreign investment in Egypt’s oil and gas sector rose to $10 billion in the 2017-2018 financial year, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said in an interview with state-run Al Ahram newspaper published on Friday.

That is up by nearly a quarter from 8.1 billion in the previous year. El Molla was quoted by the paper as saying he expected the same volume of investments in the current fiscal year. Egypt’s fiscal year runs from July to June.

Italian oil company Eni said last month that the production capacity of Egypt’s giant Mediterranean Zohr gas field stood at 1.6 billion cubic feet a day and would reach 2 billion by September.

Egypt plans to become a regional hub for the trade of liquefied natural gas after a string of major discoveries in the Mediterranean that are expected to make Egypt self-sufficient in gas by the end of 2018.