Sunday, April 4, 2021

Cyprus Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry: Liberalisation should be completed by 2022 - CYPRUS MAIL

April 4, 2021
Andrew Rosenbaum

Natasa Pilides, minister for energy, commerce and industry, has kindly conceded to Dr. Charles Ellinas and Andrew Rosenbaum a major update on energy policy and legislation. The Minister addresses nearly every important issue in the sector.

Q: Cyprus’s energy sector appears to be fragmented. Your Ministry in not in full control of all energy-related functions and activities on the island. This surely affects efficiency and effectiveness. Are there plans to lead to more effective coordination, or even more centralised planning and control?

A: I would say that the organisation of the energy sector at the state level is fairly sound, in that policy setting and implementation lies with the ministry, while the all-important role of the Regulator is kept separate and independent, in the hands of CERA. Having said that, energy is necessary and present in all aspects of life, from our homes to every type of business and industry, and as such, it should be, and is, at the heart of strategy formulation, much more so in recent years when the transition to a green economy has become our primary focus.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Spanish Gas Co. And Egypt Settle $2B Award Suit - LAW360

March 16, 2021, 10:03 PM EDT
Diamond Naga Siu 

A Spanish gas company has agreed to drop its $2 billion award confirmation suit against Egypt in D.C. federal court after the parties inked a settlement ending their years' long dispute over Egypt cutting off a natural gas plant's supply.

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes issued Unión Fenosa Gas SA the award against the Arab Republic of Egypt after finding that the state-owned gas company breached a contract by cutting off UFG's gas supply to its liquefied natural gas plant in Damietta.

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg on Tuesday accepted UFG and Egypt's Monday joint stipulation of dismissal, which said each party would handle its own attorney fees and costs. The settlement was agreed upon in early December.

"We and our client are very pleased that, after nearly eight years of arbitration in which UFG obtained notable results, the parties were able to reach a settlement that resolves all remaining disputes and allows UFG to recover damages for the breaches that precipitated the dispute," James E. Berger of King & Spalding LLP, counsel for UFG, told Law360 in an email Tuesday.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Gas ‘breakthrough’ could see movement in months - CYPRUS MAIL

March 14, 2021
Elias Hazou

After nine years, an agreement was reached this week to move forward gas sharing between Israel and Cyprus as a field straddles the borders. But how long will it take to get off the ground?

Following nine years of stop-start talks, the understanding reached earlier this week between Cyprus and Israel over developing the Aphrodite gas field was hailed as a ‘breakthrough’. Given so much time has elapsed, the standard political pageantry surrounding the news was perhaps understandably greeted with a fair amount of skepticism. But analysts do gauge the development as positive, and one that removes an unnecessary thorn in relations between the two countries.

The Aphrodite-Yishai field is a cross-border natural gas reservoir, but the two governments have been unable to reach an agreement on the fine print of its commercial exploitation.

The Aphrodite field holds an estimated 4.1 trillion cubic feet of gas. At stake was about 10 per cent of the deposit.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Egypt announces settling of claims over restarted Damietta LNG plant - REUTERS

WED MAR 10, 2021 / 2:48 AM EST

(Reuters) - Egypt's petroleum ministry announced on Wednesday a series of agreements settling all claims between Egypt, Egyptian National Gas Holding Company (EGAS), Union Fenosa Gas and the Spanish Egyptian Gas Company (SEGAS), ensuring resumption of production at the Damietta LNG liquefaction plant.

Last month, Egypt's petroleum minister had announced the restarting of the plant, which is 50% owned by Eni, a key step in the country's plans to promote itself as an energy hub in the eastern Mediterranean.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Shell Strikes $926 Million Deal to Sell Oil Assets in Egyptian Desert - BLOOMBERG

March 9, 2021, 9:27 AM
Salma El Wardany and Elena Mazneva
  • Shell divests concessions for up to $926m to Cairn, Cheiron
  • Cairn in turn offloads U.K. stakes for at least $460 million
Cairn Energy Plc reshuffled its portfolio, selling $460 million of assets in the U.K. North Sea and buying projects in Egypt’s Western Desert from Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Both deals, announced Tuesday and seen completing in the second half of 2021, follow a pickup in oil and gas acquisitions after 2020’s pandemic-driven slump. Cairn’s retreat from the North Sea comes after several other international producers have withdrawn from the aging region. Meanwhile its purchase in Egypt enables Shell to chalk up proceeds in an ongoing divestment program.

“Cairn needed to rejuvenate its investment case, and this move does that,” Al Stanton, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in a note. “However, shareholders are faced with a steep learning curve” and Egyptian assets typically provide “limited oil-price leverage.”

Greece and Egypt reach compromise in eastern Mediterranean - ARAB NEWS

09 March 2021

ATHENS: Greece and Egypt reached a compromise on Monday in their disagreement over oil and gas exploration in an area of the eastern Mediterranean.

The spat had given Ankara an opportunity to mount a diplomatic offensive in an attempt to show that Turkey and Egypt were close to reaching an agreement of their own on maritime-exploration zones.
However, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke a few days ago with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi. Soon after, it was announced that Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias would travel to Cairo on Monday to meet his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

After the meeting, Dendias said the contentious issue concerning one of the three Egyptian exploration areas, which follows the boundaries of a previous agreement between the two countries but also extends eastwards into an area claimed by Turkey, was merely a “technical one” and had been resolved. The coordinates of the disputed block were reportedly adjusted after consultations between Egyptian and Greek experts.

Greek-Italian venture signs agreement with Israel on Eastmed gas pipeline scheme - REUTERS

ATHENS, March 9 (Reuters) - Greek-Italian gas joint venture IGI Poseidon said on Tuesday it had signed an agreement with the Israel Natural Gas Lines Company to cooperate on building facilities to connect Israel to a planned gas pipeline in the eastern Mediterranean.

Greece, Cyprus and Israel last year signed a deal to build the Eastmed gas pipeline, which has been in the planning for several years and seeks to transport gas from offshore Israel and Cyprus to Greece and on to Italy to help Europe diversify its energy resources. IGI Poseidon, a joint venture between Greece’s state-owned gas utility DEPA and Italy’s Edison, said the agreement with the Israeli company, which updates a 2019 memorandum of understanding, aims to connect the Eastmed project to the Israeli transmission system and facilitate gas flows from the eastern Mediterranean to Italy and Europe, via Cyprus.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Israel, Cyprus and Greece agree to link power grids via subsea cable - REUTERS

MARCH 8, 20212:27 PM

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Cyprus, Greece and Israel on Monday signed an initial agreement to build the world’s longest and deepest underwater power cable that will traverse the Mediterranean seabed at a cost of about $900 million and link their electricity grids.

The project, called the Euro-Asia interconnector, will provide a back-up power source in times of emergency, said Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who was in Nicosia to sign a memorandum of understanding with his counterparts.

Cypriot Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said it marked “a decisive step towards ending the island’s energy isolation, and consequently, our dependence on heavy fuels.”

The cable will have a capacity of 1,000-2,000 megawatts (MW) and is expected to be completed by 2024, according to Israel’s energy ministry.

Diplomatic sources reportedly deny claims of Turkey-Egypt EEZ delineation talks - KATHIMERINI

08.MARCH.2021 • 12:36

Diplomatic sources in Egypt have denied claims that Cairo and Ankara are engaged in talks over exclusive economic zone (EEZ) delineation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

According to the same sources, cited by the Arab News website, Egypt remains committed to Greece and Cyprus.

“The Egyptian side is sticking to its position rejecting the maritime agreement signed between the Libyan Government of National Accord and Ankara,” the sources said, according to the report.

“Egypt’s respect for the maritime borders of the Mediterranean countries is not new and Turkey’s attempts to claim that the two countries have negotiated is incorrect,” the sources said.

Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu suggested Turkey had been invited to negotiate a maritime demarcation agreement with Egypt in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias is on Monday expected to visit Cairo and Nicosia.

Friday, March 5, 2021

EastMed gas pipeline to go through Egypt? - CYPRUS MAIL

March 5, 2021
Dr. Charles Ellinas

The Greek and Cypriot press abounds with news and denials that a new plan has emerged for the much-talked about EastMed gas pipeline. The Greek newspaper Vema claimed that the Greek Prime Minister Kyriacos Mitsotakis, and Egyptian President Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discussed recently a new plan that will involve a change of route for the pipeline.

Instead of going to Cyprus, it would go from the Israeli gas-field Leviathan straight to Egypt. From there it would continue on land to the Egyptian-Libyan border, from where it would be routed subsea to Crete passing through the recently delineated Greek-Egyptian EEZs, and then through Greece to Europe. This would strengthen Egypt’s hand in becoming the regional gas hub.

Such a development would leave Cyprus in limbo and with diminished influence, hence explaining Nicosia’s strong response to the news.

There is already in place an inter-governmental agreement signed in January 2020 by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Mitsotakis – but not Italy – approving the EastMed pipeline based on the original concept, to go from Israel through Cyprus, to Crete and to mainland Greece and from there to Italy.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Energean proposes $500MM carbon storage facility in northern Greece - WOLRD OIL

Paul Tugwell

(Bloomberg) --Energean Plc submitted a proposal to the Greek government to build a carbon dioxide storage facility and a hydrogen plant in northern Greece close to its old Prinos oil field.

The project would be the first of its kind in the Mediterranean, Chief Executive Officer Matthaios Rigas said at a conference Wednesday, without providing further details. Capital expenditure for the project is close to $500 million and, if approved, the project will be funded by the European Union’s recovery and resilience facility, a person familiar with the plan said, asking not to be identified as the details are private.

Energean, listed in London, declined to provide further details.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Egyptian Plan to Supply Europe's LNG Gets Boost as Plant Reopens - BLOOMBERG

February 17, 2021, 1:10 PM GMT+2
Salma El Wardany and Anna Shiryaevskaya
  • Trader expected to load shipment at Damietta terminal Feb. 21
  • Cargo is first since 2012 for Egypt’s second LNG facility
Egypt is close to restarting its second liquefied natural gas plant after an eight-year hiatus, as the North African nation seeks to become one of Europe’s main suppliers of the fuel.

Vitol Group, the world’s largest independent oil trader, is expected to load a cargo at the Damietta port in northern Egypt, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation. It will be the first shipment from the facility since 2012.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

The EastMed Pipeline is a win-win for Israel, Cyprus and Greece - THE JERUSALEM POST

JANUARY 30, 2021 20:37
Michael Harari

In recent years, the Eastern Mediterranean has stood out as a distinct sub-region, receiving wide attention in the regional and international arena – politically, strategically and economically.

The discovery of natural gas in the Exclusive Economic Zones of Israel, Cyprus and Egypt, and the clear potential for the discovery of additional gas fields in the economic waters of other countries such as Lebanon, were a major catalyst for the development of new regional architecture on the one hand, and of rising tension between part of the countries involved on the other.

The bilateral relationship between Israel and Cyprus, which has become very close in the last decade, has in many ways been a cornerstone of the regional alliances that have been woven in recent years.

The Regional Gas Forum, established two years ago in Cairo and which consists of seven members, is a fascinating illustration of the common interests formed in the region. These are Egypt, Israel, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Cyprus and the Palestinian Authority. Israel is rightly entitled to observe these developments with great satisfaction.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Egypt to Reopen LNG Plant In Push to Be Major European Supplier - BLOOMBERG

January 27, 2021, 11:34 AM GMT+2
Salma El Wardany
  • LNG capacity will be 12.5 million tons a year, says minister
  • Nation looking to become a major supplier of LNG to Europe
Egypt is set to boost exports of liquefied natural gas by restarting one of its two production plants.

The Damietta facility, which has been idled for eight years, will reopen by the end of February, Oil Minister Tarek El-Molla said in an interview Wednesday with Dubai-based consultancy Gulf Intelligence. It will process about 4.5 million tons of LNG a year and raise the nation’s capacity to 12.5 million tons, he said.

The return of Damietta and the country’s other plant -- Idku, whose exports have picked up after dropping last year amid the coronavirus pandemic -- will mark a revival of Egypt’s LNG push.

While the Arab nation is a relative minnow -- accounting for about 1% of global LNG supplies in 2019 -- it will become one of the top 10 exporters if it reaches full capacity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Energean announces NEA/NI Final Investment Decision - ENERGEAN OIL & GAS

London, 21 January 2021 – Energean pl is pleased to announce that Final Investment Decision has been taken on the North El Amriya and North Idkunea (“NEA/NI”) concession subsea tieback project in offshore Egypt. The NEA concession contains two discovered and appraised gas fields (Yazzi and Python) while the NI concession contains four discovered gas fields, one of which is readied for development. NEA/NI is due to deliver first gas in 2H 2022 with 49 million boe of 2P reserves, 87% of which is gas and peak production is expected to be approximately 90 mmscf/d plus 1 kbopd of condensates.

The NEA/NI project is a key one for the Egyptian portfolio which will provide substantial benefits to the long-term production profile in the country, whilst bringing additional cost efficiencies and strategic benefits. When Brent prices are above $40/bbl, gas will be sold at $4.6/mmBTU, which is the highest achieved to date for shallow water gas production, offshore Egypt. Total capital expenditure is expected to be approximately $235 million, the majority of which is expected to be incurred in 2022 and TechnipFMC has been awarded the EPIC contract to deliver the project. The NEA/NI drilling campaign is expected to be integrated with a broader Abu Qir drilling campaign, providing synergies on capital expenditure.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Chevron eyes subsea pipelines to send Israeli gas to Egypt - WORLD OIL / BLOOMBERG

Yaacov Benmeleh

(Bloomberg) --Chevron and other companies helping to develop Israel’s natural gas fields will invest around $235 million in pipelines to export the fuel to Egypt.

The partners in the Leviathan and Tamar fields, which sit off Israel’s Mediterranean coast, signed an agreement under which Israel Natural Gas Lines Ltd. will lay a new subsea pipeline and expand some of its existing ones, according to a statement Tuesday from Delek Drilling LP, a shareholder in both reservoirs.

INGL will build a pipeline between the Israeli coastal cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, close to the border of the Gaza Strip. Along with the expansion of other lines, it will enable the partners to send as much as 7 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Egypt, Delek said.

The new route will cost 738 million shekels ($228 million) and the expansion work about 27 million shekels, Delek said. The gas firms will pay for 56% of the new pipeline and provide guarantees on the funding that INGL takes on to cover the rest.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

7 years on, Tamar natural gas partners make 1st payment to national wealth fund - THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

19 January 2021, 6:11 pm
Sue Surkes 

More than seven years after it started commercial production, the Tamar Partnership has paid its first installment into a sovereign wealth fund aimed at ensuring that some of the profits of Israel’s natural gas bonanza are spent on strategic projects for the nation’s benefit.

The partnership transferred some $15 million at the end of last year, the business daily Calcalist reported Monday, with a further $300 million expected to be paid during 2021, in monthly installments of $25 million.

Now that the payments have started, any future deals the partnership signs will only increase the amount that must be paid into the wealth fund.

On the basis of the idea that Israel’s natural resources belong to all of its citizens, all of the gas companies drilling off the country’s Mediterranean coast are supposed to pay the state 62% on their profits. This is called the government take and includes the wealth fund levy, as well as royalties and corporate taxes, which have been paid all along.

Monday, December 28, 2020

EGAS Exports 33.9 bcf of Natural Gas to Jordan in FY 2019/20 - EGYPT OIL & GAS

Monday, 28th December 2020

The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) exported about 33.9 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas to Jordan through the Arab Gas pipeline in the fiscal year (FY) 2019/20.

The company also highlighted that the exported liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Idku gas liquefaction plant reached about 120 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent (bcfe) through 33 LNG shipments.

The company also stated that the national plan of natural gas households’ delivery has been amended from 1 million housing units to 1.1 million units. It added that its targeted plan in FY 2020/21 is to deliver natural gas to 100 industrial and 1000 commercial facilities.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Cyprus’s one-way road to natural gas - FINANCIAL MIRROR

24 December 2020
Costis Stambolis

As Cyprus has embarked on the road to introducing natural gas to its energy system, following the signing of agreements by DEFA – Cyprus’s gas company – with contractors and suppliers last July, attention is now shifting on the role that gas is expected to play in the island’s economic development. According to the timetable presented by Simeon Kassianidis, DEFA’s chairman, at the 8th Cyprus Energy Forum on December 15, construction and mooring of the €300 million FSRU type LNG terminal to be located in Vasilikos, will be completed by autumn 2022 when first gas deliveries are scheduled.

Gas will then be channeled on a priority basis to the Vasilikos power station complex run by the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC).

The thermal power stations run by EAC, which at present use highly polluting fuel oil, will switch to gas, thereby slashing their GHG emissions by at least 50%. Subsequently, the rest of the power stations operating on the island will convert to gas as this is mandatory, according to EU directives, in order to lessen their environmental impact.

Friday, December 18, 2020

UK extends sanctions for East Med drilling - KATHIMERINI

18.12.2020 : 21:11
Vassilis Nedos

The United Kingdom has announced the extension of sanctions on persons involved in illegal drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, namely in Cyprus, beyond December 31, when the transitional period for the UK’s formal exit from the European Union expires.

According to the UK Foreign Office, the Unauthorized Drilling Activities in the Eastern Mediterranean regime includes sanctions for “discouraging any activity of exploration, production or extraction of hydrocarbons that has not been authorized by Cyprus in its territorial sea or/and in its exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf.”

It added that this includes activities which may jeopardize or hamper the reaching of a delimitation agreement “in cases where the exclusive economic zone or continental shelf has not been delimited in accordance with international law with a state having an opposite coast.”

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Gas Sales Agreements to supply an additional 0.4 Bcm/yr of gas in Israel - ENERGEAN OIL & GAS

London, 17 December 2020

Energean plc (LSE: ENOG, TASE: אנאג (is pleased to announce that Energean Israel Limited (Energean 70%) has entered into a new set of agreements and amendments to existing agreements with Rapac Energy Limited and its related companies to supply an additional amount averaging 0.4 Bcm/yr of gas for terms of between 6 and 15 years commencing from first gas from the Karish gas development project. The agreements include take-or-pay, exclusivity and floor pricing provisions.

Energean Israel Limited now has gas sales agreements in place to supply approximately 7.4 Bcm/yr of gas on plateau. All contracts contain provisions for take-or-pay and / or exclusivity, and floor pricing, ensuring that Energean’s revenue stream in Israel is secured, predictable and largely insulated from global commodity price fluctuations, supporting Energean’s target to begin paying a dividend following first gas from the 8 Bcm/yr Karish project, which is currently expected in Q4 2021.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Cyprus energy designs unaffected by Turkey's provations, President says - KATHIMERINI / CNA

15 DECEMBER 2020 - 16:25

The Republic of Cyprus has been assured that ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum, Total and Eni are planning their drilling activities for the second half of 2021

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said Tuesday that that the Republic, as a sovereign and independent state and despite Turkey’s provocations, threats and illegal activities, is determined to go ahead with the implementation of its energy policy.

He said the government is continuously in touch with all oil and gas companies licensed to operate within its Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ), with all assuring that they remain committed to their contractual obligations and that in this context ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum, Total and Eni are planning their drilling activities for the second half of 2021.

President Anastasiades was addressing the 8th Energy Symposium, organised online by the Southeastern Europe Energy Institute and Financial Media Way.

Friday, December 11, 2020

DESFA lands LNG project in Kuwait - KATHIMERINI

11 December 2020 : 22:21
Chryssa Liaggou

Greece’s gas grid operator is making a dynamic entry into the international scene after landing a significant project in Kuwait.

The Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA) has undertaken the operation and maintenance of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal under construction in the Gulf country, which is expected to start operating in 2021.

DESFA outbid six other suitors short-listed by KIPIC, a subsidiary of the state oil company of Kuwait, to secure the management and maintenance of the LNG station being constructed at al-Zour, some 90 kilometers from the country’s capital city.

The Greek company announced that the contract it has secured with KIPIC will last for a minimum of five years, and DESFA earned it after the completion of the second and final stage of the tender.

It added that a key role in its successful bid belonged to the high specialization and expertise of DESFA’s stakeholders, Snam and Enagas, and to the experience that the Greek gas grid operator has gained from managing the country’s transmission system and the LNG terminal on the island of Revythousa.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Energean in exclusive talks to buy PE Kerogen's stake in Israeli gas fields - REUTERS

December 7, 2020 - 10:59

(Reuters) - Gas exploration and production company Energean said on Monday it was in exclusive talks to buy Kerogen Capital’s 30% stake in Energean Israel in order to take full control of the Karish and Tanin gas field leases, offshore Israel.

The company, which currently holds a 70% interest in Energean Israel, said the flagship Karish gas development project is expected onstream in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru

Friday, December 4, 2020

Defa chairman says gas brings millions of euros to Cyprus - CYPRUS MAIL

December 4, 2020
Andrew Rosenbaum

“The import of gas into Cyprus has the potential to transform the country’s economy and, as a result of this gasification of the island and the region, is already bringing in millions of euros,” Cyprus Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA) chairman Symeon Kassianides pointed out.

Speaking at a webinar sponsored by the Petroleum Economist magazine entitled “Unlocking the potential of East Med Gas,” Kassianides explained the many benefits of the import of gas to Cyprus.

“Not only does it permit the reduction of electricity costs, which are among the highest in Europe, but also because it will permit the opening up of the electricity market. This has been open for some time, but the sale of electricity to the grid depends on the arrival of gas on the island – independent electricity producers had dormant licences which are soon to become a reality.”

“Another new reality is the creation of gas-powered generation plants which are now coming to Cyprus. Renewable generation projects are planning to use gas turbines so that they can produce cheap electricity round the clock and not only when the sun is up during the day. This will make renewables even more viable, so in terms of the energy production we have a complete transformation.”

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Eni strikes deals to reopen Egypt's Damietta LNG plant - REUTERS

December 1, 2020
Stephen Jewkes

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian energy group Eni has struck deals with Spanish gas firm Naturgy and Egyptian partners to resolve disputes over a shuttered gas plant it part owns in northern Egypt.

Eni said in a statement on Tuesday that the new agreements would pave the way for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in the port city of Damietta to restart operations by the first quarter of next year.

An earlier deal hammered out between Eni, Naturgy and the Egyptian government over the plant fell through in April when a series of conditions were not met.

The new deal, which still needs the green light from European Union authorities as well as other conditions to be met, will allow Eni to increase its LNG portfolio and strengthen its gas foothold in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

EMC - Assessing the Outlook for Cyprus in 2021; Developing Cyprus as a Post Covid E&P Hub for the EMEA Region

With many of the global E&P projects halted or slowed by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Eastern Mediterranean basis is no different.  With presentations from the Ministry of Energy of Cyprus, CHC, PWC, DEFA & Invest Cyprus – this webinar will assess the outlook for E&P activity as well the development of Cyprus as a central sustainable energy hub.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Egypt inks $15bln oil, gas deals in six years - ZAWYA / MUBASHER

11 November, 2020

Cairo – Egypt signed 86 agreements worth $15 billion with major oil and gas companies over the last six years, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El-Molla, revealed.

Total petroleum investments reached about $76bln in six years.

From 2014 to 2020, total petroleum investments reached about EGP 1.2 trillion, thanks to the reforms conducted in the oil and gas sectors, El-Molla added in a statement on Wednesday.

In 2019, Chevron and ExxonMobil signed deals in Egypt, bringing the total number of companies operating in the oil and gas exploration and production sector in the country to more than 60 in 164 concession areas.

El-Molla further revealed that the country signed 14 new petroleum agreements from March until October.

Friday, November 6, 2020

EU extends sanctions framework against Turkey over gas drilling by one year - PLATTS

06 Nov 2020 | 12:43 UTC London
Stuart Elliott, Editor: Alisdair Bowles 

London — The EU Council on Nov. 6 extended by one year its framework for sanctions that can be imposed against those responsible for Turkey's gas exploration work in disputed waters of the East Mediterranean.

The Council first adopted the sanctions framework in November last year.

"The Council today adopted a decision extending for one year, until Nov. 12, 2021, the existing framework for restrictive measures in response to Turkey's unauthorized drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean," it said.

"The EU will therefore maintain its ability to impose targeted restrictive measures on persons or entities responsible for or involved in unauthorized drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean," it said.

The sanctions would consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze for persons, and an asset freeze for entities.

In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available to those listed, it said.

The two officials to be placed under sanctions in February were TPAO exploration head Mehmet Ferruh Akalin and deputy exploration director Ali Coscun Namoglu.

Monday, October 26, 2020

BP fires up gas field offshore Egypt - OFFSHORE ENERGY

October 26, 2020
Nermina Kulovic

Through BP’s joint venture, Pharaonic Petroleum Company (PhPC), the Qattameya field has been developed ‎through a one-well subsea development and tie-back to existing infrastructure.‎

Announcing the production start-up, BP said on Monday that the field is ‎expected to produce up to 50 million cubic feet of gas per day.

The Qattameya discovery was announced in March 2017. It is located approximately 45 km west ‎of the Ha’py platform.

It is tied back to the Ha’py and Tuart field ‎development via a new 50km pipeline and is also connected to their existing subsea ‎utilities via a 50 kilometre umbilical.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Will Natural Gas Isolate Turkey And Integrate Israel In The Eastern Mediterranean? - FORBES

Oct 22, 2020,08:44am EDT
Daniel Markind

For generations, the area around the eastern Mediterranean Sea has been filled with turmoil. From the Arab-Israeli conflict to the divided island of Cyprus and the general animus between Greece and Turkey, the region’s problems have seemed intractable.

Over the last decade however, discovery of massive natural gas deposits underneath the eastern Mediterranean Sea are reorienting the entire region. The rush to obtain energy independence and security by discovering and laying claim to gas and oil reserves is immensely important to the countries in the region, forcing them to reconsider historical relationships and presenting new possibilities which previously seemed unthinkable. At the same time however, countries like Turkey which refuse to think anew may find themselves left behind. Events are moving at tremendous speed, with much of the region has changed in just the last three months.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Chevron’s Purchase Could Unlock Israel’s Natural Gas Bonanza - THE NEW YORK TIMES

Oct. 9, 2020
Stanley Reed

Chevron, the American oil giant, wrapped up the acquisition on Monday of a relatively small Houston-based company called Noble Energy, paying about $4 billion.

Until recently, the deal would have been unlikely, if not unthinkable — because what distinguishes Noble is the large natural gas business it has built in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, especially in Israel, an area that major oil companies had until now avoided.

Chevron’s move is the latest milestone in a remarkable shift in perceptions about a relatively new region for the petroleum industry in the eastern Mediterranean. Once a dead sea for the oil industry, this area, reaching from the Nile Delta in Egypt up to Israel and Lebanon and around Cyprus, has come alive with exploration vessels, drilling rigs and production platforms in recent years thanks to a series of large natural gas discoveries.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Steinitz: Gas development after Israel-Lebanon talks critical for Beirut - THE JERUSALEM POST

OCTOBER 1, 2020 20:52
Lahav Harkov

The coronavirus pandemic has not stopped Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz from having a major international footprint.

In one week, Steinitz and his Egyptian counterpart established a new international organization dedicated to regional natural-gas developments, the minister spoke with two of his counterparts in the United Arab Emirates for the first time and negotiated the terms for starting maritime border talks with Lebanon, which were officially finalized on Thursday.

“In the coming period we will have negotiations directly mediated by the US, so that once and for all we can sum up the historic dispute over the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon,” Steinitz told The Jerusalem Post. It will be the first direct negotiations between the countries in 30 years.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Abu Sennan Production Reaches 12,347 bbloe/d during H1 - EGYPT OIL & GAS

Tuesday, 29th September 2020

United Oil and Gas (UOG) Company announced that Abu Sennan Concession gross production increased to 12,347 barrels of equivalents per day (bbloe/d) representing net production of 2,716 bbloe/d during H1 2020, according to a statement by the company.

The company added that net the production has reached to 1,709 bbloe/d in the first of March and jumped to a high of 3,142 bbloe/d in early June during the testing of El Salmiyah-5 (ES-5 ) well. Liekwise, the performance of Abu Sennan Concession have achieved exceptional results since the beginning of 2020.

UOG noted that after completion of ES-5 well’s testing program, the well was producing 2,900 barrels of oil per day (bbl/d) and 9 million standard cubic feet (mmscf/d) on a controlled rate at the end of June. Regarding ASH 2 well, its net production reached 660 bbl/d.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

East Mediterranean states establish forum - KATHIMERINI

22 September 2020 - 12:30

The founding members of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum signed a charter during an online ceremony on Tuesday, marking the group’s organization status in seeking to promote regional cooperation.

Ministers from Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Italy were scheduled to meet online to put pen to paper in a virtual ceremony, thereby establishing regional intergovernmental forum by statue.

According to a joint declaration, the forum “will contribute to advancing regional stability and prosperity” through cooperation in the energy field.

The Cypriot minister also said the charter was open for all countries that have an interest in the region and also share the same set of values and principles.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Hydrocarbon exploration to start off Crete - KATHIMERINI

Sunday September 20, 2020, 22:33
Chryssa Liaggou

In the first couple of months of 2021, the consortium comprising Total, ExxonMobil and Hellenic Petroleum will begin offshore geophysical surveys for hydrocarbons in the blocks to the south and southwest of Crete, according to the formal update it submitted during a video conference with the Regional Authority of Crete last Wednesday.

The winter season is considered preferable for exploration as the reproduction of maritime mammals will be less affected then.

The two blocks, titled “West of Crete” and “Southwest of Crete,” were conceded to the consortium through an international tender announced in 2017 after the companies themselves expressed an interest. The concession contracts were ratified by Parliament last October.

The offshore areas to be surveyed cover a total of 40,000 square kilometers. According to the contracts, the surveying phase will last for eight years and be split into three stages, the last of which will include exploratory drilling.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Eni, new gas discovery in the “Great Nooros Area”, Mediterranean Sea, Egypt - ENI

16 SEPTEMBER 2020 - 10:00 AM CEST

San Donato Milanese (Milan), 16 September 2020 – Eni (as the Operator of the Block) and bp (as contractor member) announce a new gas discovery in the so-called "Great Nooros Area", located in the Abu Madi West Development Lease, in the conventional waters of the Nile Delta, offshore Egypt.

This new discovery, achieved through the Nidoco NW-1 exploratory well, is located in 16 meters of water depth, 5 km from the coast and 4 km north from the Nooros field, discovered in July 2015.

The Nidoco NW-1 exploratory well discovered gas-bearing sands for a total thickness of 100 meters, of which 50 meters within the Pliocene sands of the Kafr-El-Sheik formations and 50 meters within the Messinian age sandstone of the Abu Madi formations, both levels with good petrophysical properties. In the Abu Madi formations a new level, which was not yet encountered in the Nooros field, has been crossed proving the high potential of the Great Nooros Area and the further extension of the gas potential to the North of the field.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Egypt, Cyprus focus on natural gas pipeline amid tensions in eastern Mediterranean - AL MONITOR

Sep 13, 2020
Mohamed Saied

At a time when the oil and gas industry is facing economic uncertainty as part of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the decline in global prices as a result of an oversupply, the eastern Mediterranean region is marred by a frantic struggle over natural gas resources.

Eastern Mediterranean countries have rushed to demarcate their maritime borders and exclusive economic zones in a bid to facilitate the gas exploration process.

The United States Geological Survey estimated the natural gas reserve in the Mediterranean in 2017 at 340-360 trillion cubic feet with a financial value ranging between $700 billion and $3 trillion.

In January 2019, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority established the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum in an attempt to create a regional gas market, reduce infrastructure costs and offer competitive prices.

While eastern Mediterranean countries have ambitious projects to gain a foothold in the European market with natural gas exports, the European Union (EU) is seeking alternatives to its dependency on Russian gas, as Russia is the third-largest oil producer in the world.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Nobel prize winner appointed chair of Egypt-Cyprus electricity project - CYPRUS MAIL

September 10, 2020
George Psyllides

Christopher Pissarides, Nobel prize laureate and professor of economics at the London School of Economics, has been appointed chairman of the economic council of EuroAfrica Interconnector, the Egypt-Cyprus electricity interconnector.

In February, Pissarides was also picked by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to chair the committee tasked with the long-term growth strategy for Greece.

“It is a great honour for us that we welcome a distinguished economist and highly respected academic such as Dr Pissarides, contributing his knowledge and extensive wisdom,” EuroAfrica Interconnector strategy council chairman and former foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides said.

“We are building bridges between continents, as Egypt’s electricity grid will be connected to Europe, through Cyprus, and Egypt becomes a major energy hub for the Arab World and Africa,” Kasoulides added.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

State finds Delek Drilling violated Tamar gas agreement - GLOBES

6 Sep, 2020 17:46
Amiram Barkat

Delek Drilling and Noble Energy were found to have a conflict of interest because they can veto Tamar sales deals in favor of selling Leviathan gas.

The Tamar partners will be required to find a new marketing and sales mechanism for the natural gas from the offshore field according to a precedent-setting opinion prepared by an inter-ministerial committee headed by deputy attorney general Adv. Meir Levin, head of the Israeli Competition Authority Adv. Michal Halperin and representatives from the Energy, Finance and Justice Ministries.

The decision was reached after the minority partners in Tamar (Isramco, Tamar Petroleum and Dor Gas) complained that the majority partners Delek Drilling LP (TASE: DEDR.L) and Noble Energy prevented them signing a deal to sell gas to the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) from Tamar because IEC was seeking to buy gas from the Leviathan partners at a higher price.

The future of global gas demand - CYPRUS MAIL

September 6, 20202
Charles Ellinas

The future of global gas demand was the subject of the Global Gas Report 2020 (GGR) published last month by the International Gas Union (IGU), in collaboration with Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) and Italian gas company Snam.

In addition to reviewing 2019 performance, the report assesses the effect of Covid-19 on the gas industry in the first half of 2020 and analyses the drivers for recovery in the next few years. It also includes a special section on the role of hydrogen and the gas industry in the low-carbon transition, particularly on market potential and technological options and costs of hydrogen production, storage and transport.

Its main conclusion is that the disruption caused by Covid-19 is on the way to reduce gas consumption and LNG trade by 4% in 2020. This and abundant supply of gas have kept prices at historic lows.

But on the positive side, GGR points out that “abundant supply and continued cost-competitiveness, aided by a push for cleaner air, can lead to a recovery in demand to pre-Covid-19 levels in the next two years, as the global economy regains momentum.”

Monday, August 31, 2020

Chevron to exploit Aphrodite gas ‘as soon as possible’ - CYPRUS MAIL

August 31, 2020

President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday held a teleconference with energy giant Chevron CEO Michael Wirth whose company has recently acquired a share in the Aphrodite gas reserve.

David Stover, CEO of Noble Energy, which previously owned the share also took part in the call, as well as other officials from the two companies. Energy Minister Natasa Pilidou and government spokesman Kyriacos Kousios were also present.

In July, Chevron announced it had struck an agreement to acquire Noble Energy. The agreement is expected to be concluded by October.

According to a presidency statement, the companies reconfirmed the importance they put on the development of the Aphrodite reserve as part of their strategic planning in the region.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Greece, Bulgaria hail deal targeting Russia gas dominance - AP NEWS

25 August 2020

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece and Bulgaria sought to reduce their reliance on Russian gas with the signing Monday of an agreement that will allow Bulgaria to participate in a planned liquefied natural gas terminal in northeastern Greece.

The project, which has strong support from the United States, is aimed at boosting energy diversification in southeastern Europe, a region largely reliant on Russian natural gas.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Bulgarian counterpart, Boiko Borisov, were present for the signing of the agreement under which Bulgaria’s state-controlled Bulgartransgaz will acquire a 20% stake in the Greek company, Gastrade, that is developing the LNG terminal outside the Greek city of Alexandroupolis.

“This large investment will help our ultimate goal of turning our easternmost port into a global energy hub,” Mitsotakis said.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Greece-Egypt agreement on sea boundaries paves way for defining a broader EEZ in East Med - FINANCIAL MIRROR

9 August 2020 
Costis Stambolis

The signing on Thursday in Cairo of an agreement between the Egyptian and the Greek governments for the delineation of a segment of their sea boundaries, paves the way for a broader understanding which will enable the two countries to reach a comprehensive agreement to define their respective Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).

Diplomatic sources in Athens told the Financial Mirror that the agreement reached between Cairo and Athens is only the beginning of a much longer process which will see the two countries submit their case to international arbitration and seek judgment from either the International Maritime Tribunal in Hamburg or the International Court in the Hague.
Egypt and Greece signed the agreement designating an exclusive economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean between the two countries, an area containing promising oil and gas reserves, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said at a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias in Cairo.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Cyprus, Israel move forward with talks over disputed gas field - NEW EUROPE

AUGUST 7, 2020 : 19:22 

Talks between Nicosia and Tel Aviv and Israel are progressing on Israel’s Yishai gas field which is adjacent to Cyprus’ Aphrodite field, Cyprus’ new Energy, Commerce and Industry Minister Natasa Pilides said on August 5 after her first video conference with her Israeli counterpart Yuval Steinitz, Cyprus News Agency reported.

The Cypriot government granted the Noble Energy, Shell, and Delek consortium an exploitation licence for the Aphrodite gas field. The companies intended to pipe the gas to neighbouring Egypt. Noble Energy has since been bought out by Chevron. But Israel claims a share of the production of Aphrodite, as a small portion of the reservoir stretches into the Yishai field, according to CNA.

Asked if the dispute will be resolved soon, Charles Ellinas, a senior fellow at the Global Energy Center at the Atlantic Council, told New Europe on August 7, “This is what Cyprus Energy Minister has said, but we have not yet seen a response from the Israeli side, other than welcoming Cyprus’ proposals and confirming that it will now study them”.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Egypt and Greece Sign Maritime Border Deal in Snub to Turkey - BLOOMBERG

August 6, 2020, 5:28 PM GMT+3
Abdel Latif Wahba

Egypt and Greece on Thursday signed a maritime border agreement, a move that comes amid criticism of growing Turkish influence in the eastern Mediterranean region.

The agreement, which lays out the boundary between the two nations’ exclusive economic zones, will allow Athens and Cairo to secure maximum benefits from oil and natural gas in the area, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in a televised press conference with his Greek counterpart, Nikolaos Dendias.

The deal comes as Turkey is looking to issue new energy exploration licenses in the eastern Mediterranean, a move sharply criticized by Greece and the European Union. In addition, Turkish support for the internationally recognized, Tripoli-based Libyan Government of National Accord has upped the stakes in the war-ravaged North African nation.

Friday, July 31, 2020

EBRD supports decarbonisation of energy sector in Cyprus - EBRD

31 Jul 2020
Olga Aristeidou
  • EBRD loan of €80 million, alongside EU and EIB financing, for floating storage and regasification unit in Cyprus
  • Natural gas introduced to Cyprus, reducing dependence on oil
  • Substantial reduction expected in local emissions of CO2 and air pollutants
The population of Cyprus will benefit from cleaner air and reduced energy costs thanks to the introduction of natural gas to the country, with a project jointly financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union (EU).

The EBRD is providing a €80 million loan to the Natural Gas Infrastructure Company of Cyprus (ETYFA) for the acquisition of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) and the development of related infrastructure. The FSRU will be permanently anchored about 1.3 km off the coast of Limassol in Vasilikos Bay and will connect directly to the adjacent Vasilikos power station, the largest power plant in Cyprus.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Bulgaria resumes natural gas transmission to Greece - SEE NEWS

29 JULY 2020

SOFIA (Bulgaria), July 29 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian state-owned gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz said on Wednesday that it has resumed natural gas transmission to Greece after fixing a ruptured pipeline.

All orders for Wednesday will be completed in full, Bulgartransgaz said in a statement.

Natural gas transmission to Greece was halted on Monday due to a rupture in the pipeline some 200 metres upstream the valve at the Kulata/Sidirokastron exit.

No one was injured in the accident.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Egypt: Total announces gas discovery in shallow waters - TOTAL


Paris – Total, bp and Eni (as the Operator) have made a gas discovery with the Bashrush well on the North El Hammad license, located eleven kilometers off the Egyptian coa

The well encountered 102 meters net gas pay in high quality sandstones of the Abu Madi formation. A production test was conducted with flow rates of up to 32 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMscf/d), limited by testing facilities. It is estimated that future deliverability per well will be up to 100 MMscf/d, along with up to 800 barrels of condensate per day. Future plans foresee development through tie-in to nearby existing infrastructures.

“We are very pleased to announce this discovery in Egypt. These results support our strategy to allocate a significant share of our exploration budget to the search of hydrocarbons in the vicinity of existing infrastructures,” said Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President Exploration at Total. “These resources have low development costs since they can rapidly be tie-in and put into production.”

Total holds a working interest of 25% in the North El Hammad license, alongside operator ENI (37.5%) and BP (37.5%).

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Israel is Diving Into the Troubled Eastern Mediterranean - BLOOMBERG

July 26, 2020, 8:00 AM GMT+3
Seth J. Frantzman

The Israeli cabinet last week approved a pipeline deal to move gas offshore via Cyprus to Greece and Europe. The 1,900-kilometer (1,181 miles) link will connect gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean basin to European markets. The $6 billion project, many years in the discussion, was boosted in January by an agreement signed in Athens between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Greek and Cypriot counterparts.

The EastMed project puts Israel on a collision course with Turkey. Ankara has laid claim, reinforced with a maritime deal with Libya, to large parts of the Eastern Mediterranean, where it is exploring for gas—and conducting naval exercises. These moves are exacerbating tensions with Greece.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Europe warns Turkey against natural gas mission near Greece - DW


European officials on Thursday warned Turkey against pursuing a survey mission looking for gas reserves near Greek islands in the eastern Mediterranean.

Greece and Cyprus have accused Turkey of undermining their sovereignty by continuing to pursue energy resources within their territorial waters.

"The government is underlining to all parties that Greece will not accept a violation of its sovereignty and will do whatever is necessary to defend its sovereign rights," said Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for sanctions against Turkey, saying it is "not acceptable for the maritime space of a European Union member state to be violated or threatened."

Last year, the EU adopted a sanctions regime targeting Turkey over its unauthorized gas drilling in Cypriot waters.