Monday, December 31, 2018

Dana Gas receives additional $44m payment from Egypt - ARABIAN BUSINESS

Mon 31 Dec 2018 08:28 AM

Total payments from Egypt $88m in Q4 and $199m year to date

Dana Gas, UAE-based natural gas company, received an additional overdue payment of $44.3 million (AED 162.4m) from its operations in Egypt this week.

This payment is made up of an additional $35 million industry payment from the government and $9.3 million from the sale of 157,350 barrels of El Wastani condensate.

Dana Gas said it has now received two payments worth $55 million (AED 202m) in December from the Egyptian government towards overdue receivables.

The shipment of El Wastani condensate is the fifth shipment of condensate sales in 2018, resulting in total collections of $54million from condensate shipments from Egypt in 2018.

Total receipts from Egypt has reached $199 million (AED 729m) year to date compared to $164 million (AED 600m) in 2017, an increase of 21% year-on-year.

While the level of Dana Gas' receivables in Egypt are now at its lowest since 2011, it said it's hoping for further improvement in payments that will reduce the level to zero as agreed.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

For gas prospects, much hangs on restarting negotiations in 2019 - CYPRUS MAIL

DECEMBER 30, 2018
Charles Ellinas

With drilling in Cyprus coming to its climax early in the year, Egypt forging ahead, Leviathan coming on stream in Israel and exploration in full swing in Lebanon, 2019 promises to be another bumper year for East Med natural gas.

Egypt will carry on building on the success of the last three years, with more gas discoveries and exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Eni is expected to announce a major new gas discovery at the Noor prospect, about 50 km offshore Sinai. Together with a number of smaller gas fields, this will bolster Egypt’s gas production and support LNG exports.

Eni will raise production at the Zohr gasfield to 32 bcm/yr by the end of 2019, up 5 bcm/yr from the originally planned production plateau, in the final phase of this remarkable project. This additional gas from Zohr will be destined for liquefaction and export through the Damietta LNG plant, mostly to Italy.

Shell is already exporting 3 bcm/yr from its Idku LNG plant and is in advanced negotiations with Noble Energy to bring gas from Cyprus’ Aphrodite gasfield to fill the remaining 7 bcm/yr unutilised capacity of the plant. However, the fraught political situation in Cyprus and the increasing intensity of threats from Turkey may yet delay this.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Libyan oil revenue dips to $2.4 billion in November: NOC - REUTERS

DECEMBER 28, 2018 / 11:20 AM

DUBAI (Reuters) - Libya’s oil and gas revenue dipped to $2.4 billion in November from $2.87 billion in October, but full-year revenue is expected to surge by 76 percent to $24.2 billion, state oil firm NOC said on Friday.

Although lower than the previous month, November revenue was the third highest monthly figure in 2018, NOC said.

Despite recurrent security problems that have affected output from Libyan oilfields, NOC’s revenue has been boosted this year by higher oil prices and production.

Libya currently produces about 1.15 million barrels per day of oil.

“NOC will continue to drive the economic recovery and provide the funds necessary to ensure a fair distribution of wealth and economic justice across the country,” NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement.

East Mediterranean gas no game-changer: IEA's Birol - ANADOLU AGENCY

Turkish head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Birol
28.12.2018Ovunc Kutlu and Nuran Erkul Kaya

ANKARA - Natural gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean are unlikely to be a game-changer given rising supplies in the global gas market, according to the Turkish head of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Discoveries of new gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean have put some countries in the spotlight, but feasibility, political challenges, and the presence of other major gas producers impose hurdles on projects that may fail to have a major impact on the gas market, Fatih Birol said on Friday.

"Qatar's liquefied natural gas has a very dominant role in the Mediterranean market," he told Anadolu Agency.

"With Qatar, American gas, and incoming supply from Israel and Egypt, it looks very difficult economically to constitute a major project in the eastern Mediterranean, plus there are some political issues as well."

Currently, Qatar is leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports with 12 consecutive years under its belt, while the U.S. is looking to raise its LNG exports with its abundant shale gas supplies.

The Mediterranean Pipeline Wars Are Heating Up - OILPRICE.COM

Dec 28, 2018, 9:30 AM CST
Viktor Katona

Things have been quite active in the Eastern Mediterranean lately, with Israel, Cyprus and Greece pushing forward for the realization of the EastMed pipeline, a new gas conduit destined to diversify Europe’s natural gas sources and find a long-term reliable market outlet for all the recent Mediterranean gas discoveries. The three sides have reached an agreement in late November (roughly a year after signing the MoU) to lay the pipeline, the estimated cost of which hovers around $7 billion (roughly the same as rival TurkStream’s construction cost). Yet behind the brave facade, it is still very early to talk about EastMed as a viable and profitable project as it faces an uphill battle with traditionally difficult Levantine geopolitics, as well as field geology.

The EastMed gas pipeline is expected to start some 170 kilometers off the southern coast of Cyprus and reach Otranto on the Puglian coast of Italy via the island of Crete and the Greek mainland. Since most of its subsea section is projected to be laid at depths of 3-3.5 kilometer, in case it is built it would become the deepest subsea gas pipeline, most probably the longest, too, with an estimated length of 1900km. The countries involved proceed from the premise that the pipeline’s throughput capacity would be 20 BCM per year (706 BCf), although previous estimates were within the 12-16 BCm per year interval. According to Yuval Steinitz, the Israeli Energy Minister, the stakeholders would need a year to iron out all the remaining administrative issues and 4-5 years to build the pipeline, meaning it could come onstream not before 2025.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Oil Ministry to increase Atoll field production to 400 mcf/d next October - ENTERPRISE

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

The Oil Ministry expects natural gas production from North Damietta’s Atoll field (BP) to increase to 400 mcf/d by next October, once drilling on the fourth well is complete, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said. 

The field currently produces 350 mcf/d of gas. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Egypt achieved self sufficiency in natural gas consumption in 2018: Ministry - AHRAM ONLINE / REUTERS

Tuesday 25 Dec 2018

Egypt's Ministry of Petroleum says that the country achieved self sufficiency in natural gas consumption in September 2018 due to the gradual increase in local production and the plan to develop major gas fields in the Mediterranean.

The discovery of the large offshore fields has resulted in the halting of natural gas imports for the first time in three years.

The ministry said in a statement that 2018 witnessed remarkable achievements and improvements in the oil and gas sector.

"Natural gas has been extended to more than 1 million residential units in 72 highly-populated cities and villages across Egypt in 2018," the statement read.

"As many as 18,784 cars have been adjusted to operate with natural gas during the period between January and November 2018."

Monday, December 24, 2018

The CEO of Energean Mathios Rigas: In Gas Transaction One Must Not be Greedy - CALCALIST

Mathios Rigas holding Tanin (crocodile) & Karish (shark)
December 24, 2018

When everyone kept their distance from the fickle Israeli energy market, Energean went against the stream and bought two small fields from Tshuva and Noble Energy’s duopoly. After two years, the CEO and owner Mathios Rigas is satisfied from the purchase, which according to him is better than expectations. In this first interview he reveals the secret: “when you are honest/direct and offer a low price, the market responds. One mustn’t be greedy in this market.”

Crete gas discovery will prompt ‘need for LNG facility on island’ - ENERGY PRESS

24 DEC 2018

The potential discovery of natural gas deposits west and southwest of Crete will prompt the need for infrastructure development on the island, including an LNG facility, Yiannis Basias, chairman of EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, has told local newspaper Haniotika Nea in arguably his most forthright comments to date on the island’s energy prospects and subsequent actions.

Besides an LNG facility, the discovery of natural gas deposits in the region would also require pipeline development for natural gas transmission to platforms or the shore and subsequent transportation, Basias told the Cretan newspaper.

The official noted he is confident drilling expeditions planned for the region will produce favorable results. “Natural gas will be discovered west and southwest of Crete as the geological characteristics here converge with those of Egypt, Cyprus and Israel,” he pointed out.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Cyprus needs to build East Med security alliance to support energy future - FINANCIAL MIRROR

23 December, 2018 
Cyril Widdershoven

The growing regional energy cooperation between Israel, Cyprus and Greece has been given another boost this week.

During the 5th trilateral summit, Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek PM Alexis Tsipras stated in the Israeli city of Beersheva that they will sign an agreement early 2019 to start the construction of an offshore East Mediterranean gas pipeline to Europe.

As indicated before, the $7 bln pipeline will compete with Russian pipeline gas exports to European markets in a move to quell the growing Russian stranglehold.

The commercial and financial viability of the project will be studied further during the upcoming feasibility study, partly financed by the EU, which has pledged $100 million already.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Cyprus, Greece, Israel to set up multi-party military force for energy security - XINHUA

2018-12-22 04:16:18

NICOSIA, Cyprus, Greece and Israel have decided to set up a multi-party military force to provide security for natural gas infrastructure, Cyprus' state television reported on Friday.

It said that the multi-party force decision was among unreported issues discussed at a summit of the three countries in Israel on Thursday.

Quoting unnamed diplomatic sources at the Beer Sheba summit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Cyprus's state television said parties involved in natural gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean will be invited to participate with military units in the force.

Among countries expected to be invited to join the force is the United States as two U.S.-based companies, ExxonMobil and Noble Energy, are involved in natural gas exploration.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman participated for the first time in the tripartite summit of Israel, Cyprus and Greece, expressing his country's support both for the regional cooperation groupings and the EastMed project.

Friday, December 21, 2018

ExxonMobil VP 'very excited' about potential of drilling off Crete - KATHIMERINI

21.12.2018 : 15:18

US energy giant ExxonMobil is set to start looking for natural gas reserves off the coast of western Crete and is optimistic of “future discoveries,” the company's vice president of Exploration for Europe, Russia and the Caspian has said.

“Discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean like Zohr, Leviathan [an Israeli natural gas field] and Aphrodite, are certainly very encouraging for this region, and they certainly suggest to us that there is the potential for future discoveries to be made, and that’s why we’re here exploring,” Tristan Aspray said in an interview with the South EU Summit website on Thursday.

“With respect to Greece, ourselves and Hellenic Petroleum and Total have been awarded – subject to final government approval – two very large licenses offshore southwest and western Crete. We're very excited about the potential of this area. It's a huge area that's never seen a single exploration well and I think there's great potential there,” Aspray said.

Wess Mitchell sends clear message to Turkey over Cyprus - KATHIMERINI

21.12.2018 : 16:00
VASSILIS NEDOS

US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell sent a clear message to Ankara not to obstruct drilling for hydrocarbons that is under way in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), while hailing Greece as a “fantastic ally” to the United States in the region, in an exclusive interview with Kathimerini’s Sunday edition.

Mitchell said Turkey's view on Cyprus's EEZ is “a minority of one versus the rest of the world,” as international law stipulates that the island nation can use its resources in an equitable way.

Speaking to Kathimerini a day after the inaugural session of the US-Greece Strategic Dialogue in Washington, he said the US regards Greece, Cyprus and Israel as natural allies in the Eastern Mediterranean and described Greece as a “one of the most military capable allies.”

As for the contentious Prespes name deal between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mitchell said Washington supports the accord, noting that its enforcement could increase Greece’s economically dominant role in the Balkans.

A step closer to an east Med ‘alliance’ - CYPRUS MAIL

DECEMBER 21, 2018
Elias Hazou

THE leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Israel said on Thursday they were ready to proceed with an inter-state agreement concerning the EastMed pipeline, following a trilateral summit in Beersheba, Israel.

The agreement will be signed pending approval from the European Commission, as the pipeline project has been designated an EU Project of Common Interest (PCI).

Speaking after the tripartite summit, the fifth in a series, president Nicos Anastasiades said the decision to go ahead with the pipeline was among the most important and substantial decisions taken during the proceedings.

“We have reached an agreement,” he said, noting that the text will be signed once it receives the approval of the European Commission.

The agreement also contains references to the security of energy infrastructure.

Anastasiades added that together with the pime ministers of Greece and Israel, Alexis Tsipras and Benjamin Netanyahu, they reaffirmed their political determination to promote the subsea electricity cable known as the EuroAsia Interconnector.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The transfer of the 66% of DESFA’ shares to SENFLUGA Energy Infrastructure Holdings S.A. is completed - HRADF

Athens, 20/12/2018

PRESS RELEASE

The successful completion of another important milestone of the Hellenic Republic's program for the development of assets by HRADF marks the transfer of 66% stake (31% owned by HRADF and 35% owned by HELPE) to SENFLUGA Energy Infrastructure Holdings S.A. for a total amount of €535 million.

The business substance of DESFA’s new shareholder, comprising of the European energy companies Snam S.p.A., Enagás Internacional S.L.U. και Fluxys S.A., certifies the attractiveness of the Greek market, highlights the investment prospects of Greece and makes the country as a natural gas hub in Europe.

With respect to the above, the Executive Chairman of HRADF, Mr. Aris Xenofos, stated: “An extremely successful tender process, which attracted considerable investment interest, was completed today. The new era that starts for DESFA strengths also the role and the position of our country as an energy hub for the EU but and the wider geographical region. We have confidence in DESFA's new shareholders and the development plans they will deliver, transferring their international experience and know-how to the company. We are here support them as the case may be”.

US ambassador to Israel pledges support for Mediterranean pipeline - KATHIMERINI

Anastasiades CY, Netanyahu IL, Tsipras GR
THURSDAY DECEMBER 20, 2018, 19:15

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said that Israel, Greece and Cyprus will sign an agreement early next year to build a pipeline to carry natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe, while the United States pledged its support for the ambitious project.

The $7 billion project, expected to take six or seven years to complete, promises to reshape the region as an energy provider and dent Russia’s dominance over the European energy market. It also could curtail Iranian ambitions to use Syria as a gateway to the eastern Mediterranean.

Speaking at a summit with the Greek and Cypriot leaders in southern Israel, Netanyahu said the three nations reaffirmed their commitment to the pipeline and discussed "important aspects" of the project. Italy is also a partner in the pipelines planning. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said the project is waiting for a green light from the European Union to move forward.

"We’re going to sign formally, officially, this agreement in a few months," he said.

In another boost for the project, US Ambassador David Friedman hailed the pipeline as integral to the "stability and prosperity of the Middle East and Europe," and urged all countries in the region to ensure its success.

Edison has not abandoned Egypt concessions - ENTERPRISE


Thursday, 20 December 2018

Italy’s Edison says it has not given up oil and gas exploration rights in Egypt: Edison, the Italian oil company that is part of France’s EDF, has denied reports in the domestic press (which we noted yesterday) that it has forfeited its right to explore for natural gas in the northeastern Hapi and Theqa concessions. “Edison is committed to pursue and to fulfill its exploration campaign in its East Mediterranean concessions in 2019,” the company said in an emailed statement. The company “is currently preparing important drilling campaigns for, as initially planned, two exploration wells in East Med, respectively in North Thekka and North East Hapy concessions,” it said. In addition to drilling in 2019 at a third concession, the company says it will launch a USD 200 mn development program at two offshore concessions in the Nile Delta, expecting first gas in 1Q2021.

Letter of intent for the award of new E&C offshore word order for the ramp up to plateau phase of the Zohr field development project, worth more than 1.2 billion USD - SAIPEM

20 December 2018

San Donato Milanese (Milan), December 20, 2018 - Saipem and Petrobel have negotiated an offshore contract addendum worth more than 1.2 billion USD for Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation (EPCI) activities in relation to the “Ramp Up to Plateau” phase of the “supergiant” Zohr Field Development Project situated in the Mediterranean Sea off the Egyptian coast.

Petrobel is a 50-50 joint venture between EGPC (Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation) and IEOC (an Eni subsidiary in Egypt) and is in charge of the development of Zohr on behalf of PetroShorouk, a joint venture between EGAS (Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company) and IEOC, Rosneft, BP and Mubadala Petroleum.

The current addendum to the work includes the installation of a second 30-inch diameter gas export pipeline, infield clad lines, umbilicals and electrical/fiber optic cable, as well as EPCI work for the field development in deep water (up to 1700 metres) of 10 wells.

The Ramp Up to Plateau phase is scheduled to commence in January 2019, in direct continuity with the Optimised Ramp Up phase which has been completed in an outstanding 17-month project execution period from its contract award.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Edison gives up exploration rights in North East concessions - ENTERPRISE

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Italy’s Edison has forfeited its natural gas exploration rights in North East concessions Hapi and Theqa (aka Thekah), local news reported. 


A new international tender for the concessions will be launched next year, an Oil Ministry source said, without specifying a time frame. 

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

Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said in July the Italian company would begin drilling exploratory wells at the concessions in 2H2019.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Turkish airspace violations in Aegean seen as response to Mitchell comments - KATHIMERINI

TUESDAY DECEMBER 18, 2018, 11:56
VASSILIS NEDOS

Turkish fighter jets embarked on a barrage of airspace violations in the Aegean on Monday, in what was seen by Athens as a response to remarks on Friday by US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell, who hailed Greece as a “fantastic ally” in the region and backed Cyprus’s gas exploration rights.

Specifically, 15 armed Turkish fighter jets conducted 107 violations in the northeast, southeast and central Aegean, as well as two overflights over the islets of Anthropofagos and Makronisi in the eastern Aegean early Monday afternoon.

They also engaged in four mock dogfights with Greek jets, according to the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA).

Military officials said the extent of the violations are comparable to those Ankara conducted in January 2017 when Defense Minister Panos Kammenos threw wreaths from a helicopter into the sea near the islet of Imia in the eastern Aegean to commemorate the death of three Greek servicemen who died in a helicopter crash at the height of a crisis between the two countries in 1996.

Turkey at the Eastern Mediterranean Crossroads - THE JERUSALEM INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES (JISS)

Cyprus' declared (Blocks 1-13) & undeclared EEZ
18.12.2018
Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak

Turkey finds itself at a historic junction where it must decide whether to proceed alone by challenging Israel, Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus – or whether to embrace regional cooperation.


Introduction
The eastern Mediterranean, an arena of great power struggles, has undergone dramatic changes over the past decade. The “Arab Spring,” Egyptian military takeover, civil war in Syria, refugee waves, and Turkey’s deteriorating relations with the West and Israel – are the most important aspects of this drama.

However, these remarkable developments alone do not provide a complete picture of the forces transforming the region. Russia is once again establishing a permanent presence, while China seeks anchors for its “Belt and Road Initiative.” Moreover, the newly-discovered natural gas resources have turned the eastern Mediterranean into one of the most significant geostrategic maritime zones, which may reshape the regional balance power and the dynamics of European energy politics.

With its abundant natural gas reserves and opportunities for joint ventures, the eastern Mediterranean is emerging as an important region, shaping the balance of power and paving the way for new alliances. As a key player in the region, Turkey finds itself at a historic junction, where it must decide whether to proceed alone by challenging Israel, Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus – or whether to embrace regional cooperation.

Foreign oil and gas companies in Egypt to increase investments to USD 11 bn - ENTERPRISE



Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Investment in Egypt by global oil majors is on track to rise c. 10% this fiscal year, unnamed industry sources told the local press. Total investment by global exploration and production companies should close the state’s 2018-19 fiscal year at c. USD 11 bn against USD 10 bn a year ago in part thanks to the Oil Ministry clearing some USD 5.1 bn in arrears it owed the companies, the story says. Major projects in the pipeline include second-phase drilling in the supergiant Zohr field, with a USD 300 mn tenth well set to be drilled next month, continued work in the North Alexandria offshore concession and the start of production from the first three wells of West Nile Delta. The Oil Ministry has recently reached an agreement with the companies to expedite their work on the latter projects. The projects are expected to produce a combined 800 mcf/d of natgas during the current fiscal year.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Energean Oil and Israel Natural Gas Lines sign agreement - ANA-MPA

Monday 17 December 2018, 13:47:35

Energean Oil on Monday announced that it has signed an agreement with Israel Natural Gas Lines to supply natural gas from Energean's FPSO (floating production storage and offloading) to the Israeli national gas transmission grid.

The agreement covers the onshore section of the Karish and Tanin infrastructure and the near shore section of pipeline extending to approximately 10km offshore. Under the Agreement, INGL will pay Energean approximately 100 million euros. The delivery of these parts of the pipeline to INGL will take place immediately after the start of natural gas delivery from the Karsis deposit in the first quarter of 2021.

Yuval Steinitz, Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water of Israel, said: "This is an important step in the development of medium and smaller gas fields, which is also based on infrastructure created by INGL. The signing of the agreement will encourage exploration for gas fields and their development and will contribute to Israel's energy security in the future."

Crete grid link seen as national project despite EC pressure - ENERGY PRESS

17/12/2018

The energy ministry appears to have decided to develop the Crete-Athens electricity grid interconnection as a national project with EU cohesion policy funding through the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014 to 2020, despite intensifying European Commission pressure for this project to be headed by Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests heading a wider Greek, Cypriot and Israeli PCI-status interconnection project.

Brussels has stepped up its pressure on Greece with a new letter to RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, from Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Director at the European Commission’s Directorate B on the Internal Energy Market. It was received by the authority last Thursday.

Athens and Brussels have been at odds over the Crete-Athens link ever since RAE appointed an SPV named Ariadne, a Greek power grid operator IPTO subsidiary, as the project segment’s promoter.

Greek officials are believed to also be considering applying for the Crete-Athens link’s inclusion in a new PCI list to be published by the EU, possibly along with the Crete-Cyprus segment, as part of a new firm, if Nicosia agrees.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

US official sends clear message to Turkey over Cyprus drilling - KATHIMERINI

16.12.2018 : 14:21
VASSILIS NEDOS

In an exclusive interview with Kathimerini’s Sunday edition, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell has sent a clear message to Ankara not to obstruct drilling for hydrocarbons that is under way in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), while hailing Greece as a “fantastic ally” to the United States in the region.

Speaking in Washington on Friday, a day after the US-Greece Strategic Dialogue, President Donald Trump’s key official on Greek-Turkish affairs and the Eastern Mediterranean said the US regards Greece, as well as Cyprus and Israel, as important allies in the region.

“Greece, Cyprus and Israel are very important countries for the US because they are stable, democratic, western allies in a region where you don’t find a lot of stable, democratic partners,” Mitchell said, adding that it was a “natural step” for the US to deepen its cooperation with all three countries.

He cited energy security and diversification as key goals, as well as keeping a check on “Iranian efforts to open a window for the Mediterranean through Syria.”

He also underlined that Cyprus has the right to develop its resources. “Our line has been consistent. Cyprus is a sovereign country and just like any other sovereign country it has resources and can develop those resources,” Mitchell said.

Dreams versus reality in the push for Cyprus gas - CYPRUS MAIL

DECEMBER 16, 2018
Charles Ellinas

Cyprus on the brink of big decisions on energy was the subject of the Sixth Energy Symposium organised by the Institute of Energy North-East Europe (IENE) and Financial Media Way (FMW) in Nicosia on December 4.

The key message was that hydrocarbons offer serious opportunities that with careful handling can benefit Cyprus geopolitics and economy as well as the wider region.

In their introductory speeches, the organisers of the symposium, IENE executive director, Costis Stambolis, and managing director of FMW, Iosef Iosef, said the symposium stressed the success and significance of the energy profile of Cyprus internationally.

President Nicos Anastasiades, in his opening speech described the three pillars that guide the government’s energy plans:
  • Development of hydrocarbons, that belong to all legal citizens of Cyprus
  • Overcoming Cyprus’ energy isolation and developing other energy sources, including renewables
  • Close energy cooperation with those neighbouring countries that are willing partners.
He talked about the drive to create an East Med Energy Corridor to connect East Med’s hydrocarbon resources to Europe. This includes LNG exports, as well as the East Med pipeline. He considers this to be key in terms of contributing to EU’s energy needs.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Dana Gas now producing 70,000 barrels of oil per day in Kurdistan - KURDISTAN 24

A gas processing plant run by Dana Gas in the Kurdistan Region
December 15, 2018
John J. Catherine

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Middle East's largest regional private sector natural gas company has announced that, as a result of a previous ramp-up of production in the Kurdistan Region, it reached 70,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) in late November and has either sustained or exceeded that amount since then.

"Production in excess of 70,000 barrels oil equivalent per day is a great achievement for Dana Gas," said Chief Executive Officer Patrick Allman-Ward in a statement released on Thursday.

"The increase in production will help offset the lower realised hydrocarbon prices that have impacted the oil industry in the last quarter and support growth in our revenue and net profit figures for the full year 2018 and beyond."

Dana Gas is an independent gas company headquartered in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates that has been active in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq since 2007 when it entered into agreements with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to develop its substantial gas resources.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Hungary looks at Cyprus gas to diversity energy supply - ASSOCIATED PRESS

Peter Szijjarto / Nicos Christodoulides (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
December 14, 2018

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Hungary’s foreign minister says Cyprus’ offshore gas deposits could become an alternative energy source for his country, which is seeking to diversify its natural gas supply beyond Russia in order to bolster its energy security.

Peter Szijjarto says Hungary “constantly seeks alternative solutions” and that his country considers as “realistic” the supply of gas from Cyprus’ Aphrodite offshore deposit.

He said an agreement signed with his Cypriot counterpart Friday will ready the groundwork for Cypriot gas “over the medium term to play a role” in the energy supply of central Europe.

Szijjarto also said that Hungary is willing to share its advanced technological know-know with Cyprus in order to help the east Mediterranean island nation with its water shortage problems.

LNG tanker carrying first export cargo from Texas headed to Greece - KATHIMERINI

FRIDAY DECEMBER 14, 2018

The first shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Texas, in the United States, is headed to Greece.

The Maria Energy LNG tanker, carrying the first export cargo from Cheniere Energy’s terminal near Corpus Christi, left the facility Tuesday and is expected to arrive at the Revithoussa LNG terminal, an islet west of Athens, on December 29.

In a statement Thursday, Greece’s Energy Ministry confirmed that LNG from the US will be unloaded before the end of the year at the newly-built tank.

The ministry said the deal demonstrates efforts on both sides to strengthen cooperation on energy security. It said natural gas is required to play a transitional role in bolstering Greece’s energy security.

Greece, which relies on Russian gas for its energy needs, inaugurated the Revithoussa LNG tank in November in a bid to boost its storage capacity and advance its ambitions to become a regional energy hub.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

U.S. - Greece Strategic Dialogue - Remarks by Secretary Pompeo - U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT



Turkey starts building land part of Turkish Stream pipeline - TASS

ANKARA, December 13, 2018 /TASS/

Turkey is launching the construction of the onshore part of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline on the territory of the republic.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced this presenting the action plan for the second 100 days of the new cabinet after the country’s transition to the presidential form of government.

"We are launching the construction of the onshore part of the Turkish Stream on our territory," he said as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.

Erdogan also announced plans to complete the implementation of this project "by the end of 2019."

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Shell’s Idku plant steps up LNG exports as winter curbs local consumption - ENTERPRISE

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Royal Dutch Shell’s Idku liquefaction plant has increased exports of natural gas to 500 mcf/d, up from 300 mcf/d previously, a source from EGAS said, attributing the move to a further decline in local consumption levels during winter. 

Just last month, the company increased LNG exports to 300 mcf/d from 250 mcf/d in October. 

Shell and the Oil Ministry had agreed in 2016 to gradually ramp up production at the Idku LNG plant.

Growing Dependent On Russia: The Gas Routes In Europe - FORBES

Dec 12, 2018, 12:05pm
Annalisa Girardi

This year Italy has become the second largest buyer of Russian natural gas, outdoing Turkey. Rome and Moscow historically have had close commercial ties within the energy sector, being Eni, an oil and gas Italian company and one of the largest multinationals in the sector, the first Western business to become a commercial partner to the Kremlin. This year Italy has become Russia’s second market, buying 18,3 billion cubic meters gas, against the 17,9 billion cubic meters acquired by Ankara. According to Bloomberg, Germany remains far in its first place, with 42,7 billion cubic meters gas purchased from Siberian gas fields.

Russian gas is a precious resource for Italy since it provides more than one-third of its total domestic demand. Natural gas originated in Russia reaches Italy mainly through the Trans Austria Gas (TAG) pipeline, a 380 kilometers duct hold at 89% by Eni. At this moment, 40% of national requirements are met by Gazprom, the Russian business that is also a major oil and gas companies worldwide, as well as being state-owned at 50%. The rest of Italian energy needs are mainly covered at 25% by Algeria and at 6% by Libya, while the country imports from Qatar the majority of liquefied natural gas which is later processed at the regasification plants.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Interview: President of Cyprus on Sisi, gas deal, Turkey and Syria - EGYPT INDEPENDENT

December 10, 2018, 2:24 pm
Gamaa Hamduillah

This edited interview of President Nicos Anastasiades, of the Republic of Cyprus, was originally authored by Gamaa Hamduillah and Fady Francis, and published by Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm on Friday, December 7, 2018.

Al-Masry Al-Youm: After the 30 June Revolution, and President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi’s 2014 rise to power in Egypt, the past four years witnessed a great development of Egyptian-Cypriot relations, in all fields and departments. How do you see the future of relations between Egypt and Cyprus, during President Sisi’s second term?

President Anastasiades: Bilateral relations between Cyprus and Egypt are at their highest point ever, and this reflects our readiness to further broaden our ties in the future, and reach the full potential of our partnership, including engaging the private sector. It is always with great pleasure that I meet President Sisi, and I look forward to continuing close work together, with the common aim of promoting peace, stability and prosperity in our region.

House ratifies Egypt-Cyprus pipeline agreement, other recent agreements - ENTERPRISE

Monday, 10 December 2018

The House of Representatives’ Legislative Committee approved yesterday the Egypt-Cyprus agreement to establish a natural gas pipeline connecting Cyprus’ Aphrodite natgas field to liquefaction plants at home, according to Youm7. 


The pipeline will be used to bring in natgas for re-export to Europe, a key element of Egypt’s bid to become an energy hub for the Eastern Mediterranean.

The committee also approved a USD 65 mn grant from USAID to support water infrastructure, and a KWD 100,000 grant from the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development to purchase equipment for the Theodor Bilharz Research Institute in Giza.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

UPDATE 1-Egypt approves BP purchase of 25 pct of Nour gas concession - REUTERS / EGYPT TODAY

Sun, Dec. 9, 2018

CAIRO, Dec 9 (Reuters) - BP and UAE-based Mubadala Investment Co are to buy stakes in the Nour deepwater gas concession off the northern coast of Sinai, following approval by Egypt’s petroleum ministry on Sunday. 

Nour lies near the Zohr gas field, which was declared the biggest in the Mediterranean when it was discovered in 2015. Zohr is estimated to hold about 30 trillion cubic feet of gas and has raised interest in gas exploration in Egypt.

BP will buy 25 percent and Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala 20 percent of the Nour concession from Italian energy company Eni , the petroleum ministry said in a statement.

Eni, which had held 85 percent of the concession through a subsidiary, will now hold 40 percent. Egypt’s state-controlled Tharwa Petroleum Company holds the remaining 15 percent.

Eni and Tharwa were originally due to start drilling the first exploratory oil well at Nour in late September.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Geopolitical Stakes Are Huge On This Tiny Island - OILPRICE.COM

Dec 08, 2018, 11:59 PM CST
Damir Kaletovic

The specter of a rumored U.S. military buildup in Cyprus that would draw a major Russian response now adds to the ongoing Greek Cypriot-Turkish conflict over the island and the oil and gas riches it promises.

Ever since the massive hydrocarbon discovery in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in 2011 by American company Noble Energy the island has been the center of a geopolitical game that doesn’t stop with rife tensions between Turkey and the Greek Cypriots.

And now this game is drawing nearer to its climax, with much at stake.

Cyprus--an island in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea—is divided into the Greek-dominated Republic of Cyprus in the south and the Turkish-controlled north. Since 2004, the Republic of Cyprus has been a member of the European Union, and the northern ‘entity’ remains recognized solely by Turkey.

But it is the EEZ—the exclusive economic zone—where this geopolitical game of chess is being played out.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Putin says TurkStream Gas Pipeline Could be Extended via Greece - ASIAN OIL & GAS

Friday, 07 December 2018 04:19

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the TurkStream gas pipeline could be extended further into Europe via Greece, as he met Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Moscow.

The first line of TurkStream, which runs from Russia to Turkey via the Black Sea bed, is intended for Turkish consumption only. Russia has said that a second line will also end in Turkey and Europe must choose the route and build the extension itself.

Several routes, including via Greece and Bulgaria, are under consideration.

"We are ready for implementation of large-scale infrastructure energy projects jointly with Greece. This is also about connecting southern Europe to TurkStream via Greece," Putin said at a joint briefing with Tsipras in Moscow.

Gazprom is building TurkStream to bypass Ukraine, the key route used to ship Russian gas to Europe, amid political tension.

Its two lines will each have a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic metres of gas per year, with the first due to be operational by the end of 2019. 

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Polya Ivanova; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Egypt to test-run Giza, Fayoum gas fields - MENAFN

December 6, 2018, 8:56:59 AM

Egypt was announced to have decided to test-run Giza and Fayoum fields before this month ends, as part of a plan to boost natural gas output from deep waters.

The trial is to be launched with Egypt aiming to produce an average of 700 million cubic feet of gas a day from the fields by the first quarter of next year.

Since June this year, Egypt was able to see a 10 percent jump in its natural gas production to reach 6.6 billion cubic feet a day.

This increase was recorded after Egypt imposed hikes on production at Zohr offshore gas field for it to stand at 2 billion cubic feet per day.

The country is looking to see its gas production surge to hit 6.75 billion cubic feet per day before this year comes to an end, with a target to turn into an energy hub.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Use of LNG ‘a one-way street’, EAC boss says - CYPRUS MAIL

December 5, 2018 
Gregoris Savva

The use of liquified natural gas (LNG) for electricity generation is the only option for Cyprus to diversify its energy mix and avoid stricter fines on emissions from power generation, the chairman of the electricity authority (EAC) Andreas Marangos has said.

In an interview with CNA, Marangos said the EAC was ready for the two major challenges, namely the liberalisation of the electricity market and the use of natural gas for electricity generation.

He acknowledged that fluctuations in electricity bills which often cause reaction from the public and businesses but are “a reality” dependent on international oil prices, as 90 per cent of power generation is dependent on imported liquid fuel.

“The way to have lower and more stable prices is the introduction of natural gas in energy generation. A reduction in the electricity bills will depend on the natural gas purchase price but also on the introduction of solar plants and renewable source of energy to the system,” he said, as the Cyprus Natural Gas Company has launched a call for tenders for LNG import terminal.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Government dismisses reports on EastMed pipeline as baseless - KATHIMERINI / KNEWS

04 December 2018 - 09:47

The Government has dismissed reports that question the viability of the EastMed pipeline. The proposed EastMed pipeline will transfer natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe. Commentators have argued that the project is not economically viable, given the distances and depth involved, pointing out that the final price of the Cypriot natural gas would not be competitive.

Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Monday that the reports were baseless, adding that when the necessary consultations will be concluded there will be an agreement among the participating states on the pipeline.

“Results will be announced officially once they have been reached,” he told the press.

Asked about ExxonMobil’s exploratory drill in block 10 of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone and the US’ reported intention to build a gas terminal in Cyprus, the Government Spokesman said that “the works proceed normally as the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Energy have established on - site”.

He said that the Government will not decide a priori or preclude any possibility with regard to the commercial exploitation of the gas fields and that the best decisions will be made depending on the technical and economic data.

Monday, December 3, 2018

IEC seeks Tamar, Leviathan bids for NIS 2b gas deal - GLOBES

3 Dec, 2018 14:19
Sonia Gorodeisky

Israel Electric Corp. is hoping to cut the price of gas by generating competition between the two partnerships.

Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) has contacted both the Tamar and Leviathan partnerships, both partly owned by Yitzhak Tshuva, to provide bids to supply 2 billion cubic meters (BCM) of gas annually over two years, Delek Drilling LP (TASE: DEDR.L) notified the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange this morning. At current gas prices the deal has an estimate value of about NIS 2 billion.

According to the report, the gas is to be supplied between October 2019 and the end of June 2021. This time scale extends from when gas is due to begin flowing from the Leviathan reservoir to the start of supply of gas from the Karish reservoir, controlled by Greek company Energean Oil & Gas plc (LSE: ENOG; TASE: ENOG).

The aim of IEC is to try and cut the price of natural gas used in the production of electricity but a competitive process to procure amounts of gas above its commitment to the Tamar partners. At the same time, IEC is anyway trying to lower the price of gas in its agreement with the Tamar partners, which amounts to $6 per thermal unit, 33% over the price closed recently with Energean by private electricity producers.

Remarks at the Budapest Energy Summit - Francis R. Fannon - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

December 3, 2018Remarks
Francis R. Fannon
Budapest Energy Summit

Budapest, Hungary

Introduction

Good morning. Thank you Piroska for the kind introduction. I’ve seen a lot of Budapest and I’m pleased to be here today for the Budapest Energy Summit.

Today I would like to discuss Europe’s energy security: the challenges and the opportunities.

The United States has been engaged in energy issues as key to foreign policy since the 1800s. The State Department, at that time, worked to secure markets abroad for U.S. oil and kerosene, some of our largest exports at the time. In the 1970s, the Department was at the forefront in managing oil supply shocks, with then Secretary of State Kissinger helping to found the International Energy Agency.

Eni to drill tenth well in Egypt’s Zohr field next January - ENTERPRISE

Monday, 3 December 2018

Italy’s Eni will begin drilling its tenth well in the Zohr gas field in January 2019 at a cost of USD 300 mn. 

The addition of the tenth well is expected to boost output production by 200 mcf/, and is predicted to take two months to complete. 

Production from the tenth well remains dependent on Eni’s sixth treatment plant, which is currently under construction and expected to be completed by 1Q2019. 

The company recently had to close the ninth well in Zohr after drilling due to lack of capacity at its treatment plants.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

EastMed gas pipeline increasingly doubtful - CYPRUS MAIL



December 2, 2018
Charles Ellinas


So far it has been easier finding gas in the region than exporting it. The story behind the much-vaunted EastMed pipeline explains why

The EastMed gas pipeline from Israel through Cyprus and Greece to Europe is back in the limelight.

It was reported on November 24 that the governments of Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy reached agreement on the construction of this pipeline based on the results of a feasibility study funded by the EU. However, government sources from Cyprus said that even though an inter-governmental agreement is in sight, a few weeks are still needed to complete the process and obtain approval by the European Commission (EC).

The project is being performed by Edison, an EDF Group company, and Greece’s Depa with about €35 million in funding from the EC, as a project of common interest (PCI). In a recent presentation Depa reported the capacity of the pipeline to be 10-16 billion cubic metres per year (bcm/yr). The project is currently designed to initially carry 10bcm/yr from the East Med to Greece, about 1900km, where it will connect to the Poseidon pipeline in Italy, about 300km.

Even though for the East Med region exporting 10bcm/yr gas is quite important, it is only about two per cent of annual European gas consumption. This should put into context exaggerated claims from the region that the EastMed pipeline will “to some extent minimise Arab influence on Europe!”

The EastMed pipeline so far has the support of the four governments and the EC, but no international oil company (IOC) or investor has yet expressed interest to join.

The four governments and the EU cannot fund the project. This requires IOC and investor participation, and above all it requires buyers for its gas.

Rosneft applies for natural gas import license - ENTERPRISE

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Rosneft applies for natural gas import license: Russian energy giant Rosneft has begun the process of acquiring a license to import natural gas, sources told Al Mal on Thursday. The company has apparently received preliminary approval from the government to form a JV with a local entity for the activity, they added. If true, the move indicates that not only is the government jump starting the process of issuing gas import licenses, but that it has drawn the appetite of oil and gas majors.

Background: After being formed in 2017, the Natural Gas Regulatory Authority — the country’s regulator overseeing a newly liberalized gas import and distribution market — has not moved to issue licenses as quick as some in the industry had hoped. The regulator had postponed in September the issuance of natural gas import licenses to private sector companies, ostensibly because the private sector was “unprepared.” This all appeared to change following the signing of an agreements paving the way for gas imports from Israel. The Oil Ministry is ready to consider permit requests from the private sector to help Egypt become a regional hub for gas trading, Oil Ministry spokesperson Hamdi Abdel Aziz had said at the time. EGAS has renewed preliminary approvals giving Qalaa’s TAQA Arabia, BB Energy and Fleet Energy the import licenses.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

East Mediterranean partnership signals an energy revolution - JERUSALEM POST

Tsipras (L), Netanyahu (R)
DECEMBER 1, 2018 22:24
EMMANUEL NAVON 

Natural gas has turned Greece from a rival to an ally just as relations between Israel and Turkey started deteriorating.

The announcement in November that Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy have agreed to build a natural gas pipeline (the longest in the world) from Israel’s offshore gas fields to Europe, clearly indicates that Israel has chosen the Greek option over the Turkish one. In the past, Israel had considered a pipeline to Europe via Turkey, but the idea was dropped in favor of the Greek option. Building a natural gas pipeline via Turkey would have been cheaper and more viable economically, but it became politically unfeasible due to Turkey’s hostile policy toward Israel, Cyprus and Greece.

Natural gas has turned Greece from a rival to an ally just as relations between Israel and Turkey started deteriorating. Israel discovered the huge Leviathan gas field in 2009, shortly before the 2010 MV Marmara incident, which contributed to the rift between Israel and Turkey. In 2010, Benjamin Netanyahu became the first sitting Israeli prime minister to visit Greece, and the Israeli and Greek air forces started their first joint military exercises. In September 2011, Israel and Greece signed a security cooperation agreement. Israel now uses Greek airspace for training purposes.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

ExxonMobil Commences Drilling Despite Turkey's Verbal Threats - FORBES

Nov 29, 2018, 11:54am
Antonis Antoniou

ExxonMobil XOM +0.56% continues its exploratory offshore drilling in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and — contrary to the Cypriot government’s fears — no Turkish ships appeared on the horizon.

Drillship Stena IceMax entered Block 10 of Cyprus’ EEZ and began drilling a couple of days ago. So far, there has been no actual response from Turkey, even though the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said that it would “react” to any kind of exploration activity in the Cypriot EEZ.

Turkey has vocally laid claim to parts of Cyprus’ EEZ and even though Block 10 does not fall within one of those areas, Turkey has nevertheless repeatedly warned (or, perhaps, threatened?) that it would react in order to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots.

But there has been no action by Turkey so far to prevent ExxonMobil’s exploration effort.

Ministers of Energy, Foreign Affairs, US ambassador and ExxonMobil VP visit Stena Icemax - CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

.NICOSIA 29/11/2018 17:56
Gregoris Savva

Ministers of Energy, Foreign Affairs, Georgios Lakkotrypis and Nicos Christodoulides, Kathleen Doherty, the US Ambassador to Cyprus, and ExxonMobil’s Vice President Tristan Aspray visited earlier today the drillship that carries out an exploratory drilling at the Deflini target in block 10 of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone on behalf of the ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum.

The exploratory deep-water drilling began on November 16 and is expected to be concluded by the end of the year.

Sources told CNA that during their visit to Stena Icemax, the two Ministers accompanied by Doherty, Aspray and other officials toured the drill ship's various installations and talked to the captain and crew as well as to the technical crew associated with the drilling.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Bulgaria eyes stake in planned LNG terminal in Alexandroupoli - KATHIMERINI

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 28, 2018, 09:22

Sofia plans to take a minority stake in a liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal near Greece’s northern city of Alexandroupoli, Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova has said, according to reports.

In comments made earlier this week, Petkova reportedly said that LNG offers Bulgaria an opportunity for further diversification of natural gas supplies, on top of the one billion cubic metres of gas from Azerbaijan, for which the Balkan state signed a contract several years ago.

“When we talk about the Greece-Bulgaria [gas] inter-connector, we must note the importance of another opportunity for diversification of gas deliveries and that is our participation in the Alexandroupoli terminal,” Petkova was quoted by the Independent Balkan News Agency (IBNA) as saying.

“It is a project of extreme importance to the entire region. It is in full synergy with the Greece-Bulgaria inter-connector and that is why the Bulgarian government discussed the prospect and took the decision to participate in this project as a shareholder, so that we have the opportunity for gas deliveries from various LNG sources, including the US, Qatar and Algeria,” she said, according to the report.

The TurkStream Opportunity - CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

November 28, 2018
Nikos Tsafos

As the battle for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project continues, the offshore section of the TurkStream gas pipeline, from Russia to Turkey, was inaugurated on Monday, November 19. Two broadly similar projects have triggered sharply different responses—no one is threatening sanctions over TurkStream, there are no grand legal or diplomatic chess moves to stop the project, and the op-eds and conferences denouncing the project are few and far between. That is good news—no one needs more Nord Stream 2-like controversy. But it is also good news because TurkStream can enhance energy security; but only if Europe acts. For a continent bitterly—and, often, needlessly— divided by pipelines, TurkStream offers an opportunity to depoliticize gas and show that new infrastructure can be a win-win for Russia and Europe.

TurkStream will have two parallel lines: the first to deliver gas to Turkey, the second for onward sale to Europe (although markets will determine the actual volume split). Like other Russian pipelines, the short-term impact will be to change how Russian gas is sent to Europe: rather than flowing through Ukraine, Russian gas will be shipped straight to Turkey and, later, Europe through the Black Sea. Over time, as Russian exports grow, the pipeline will be delivering new gas rather than acting purely as a substitute route. This evolution takes time: gas transit through Ukraine fell by approximately 40 percent between 2011 and 2014, after the Nord Stream 1 pipeline came online, but it had largely recovered by 2017 (2017 volumes were about 10 percent lower than 2011).