Thursday, December 2, 2021

ExxonMobil, Qatar awarded Block 5 gas rights - CYPRUS MAIL

December 2, 2021
George Psyllides

The cabinet on Thursday awarded natural gas exploration rights for an offshore block to a consortium made up of ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum.

Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said ExxonMobil would be administering the Block 5 concession with a share of 60 per cent.

“In addition, I have been authorised to sign on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus, the exploration and production sharing contract agreed with the consortium after intense negotiations,” the minister said.

ExxonMobil and partner Qatar Petroleum plan on drilling an appraisal well in Block 10, where natural gas was discovered, towards the end of November or early December.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Greece teams up with Egypt on gas supply, infrastructure - REUTERS

November 25, 2021, 6:11 PM EET

ATHENS, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Greece and Egypt agreed on Thursday to expand their cooperation in the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and examine the possibility of constructing a subsea gas pipeline between the two countries, the Greek energy ministry said.

Greece, which mainly imports gas from Algeria, Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey, has been looking to diversify its resources and become an energy hub in southeastern Europe.

The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding in Cairo on Thursday as a step towards specific agreements between Greek and Egyptian companies, the Greek energy ministry said in a statement.

Last month, Greece and Egypt agreed on a plan to build an undersea cable linking their electricity grids.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Gas projects back on track - CYPRUS MAIL

November 18, 2021
Elias Hazou

The consortium holding the concession on block 10 in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone are making final preparations for follow-up drilling to narrow down the precise quantities of natural gas in place, with the results expected sometime in spring 2022, Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said Thursday.

She was speaking at a press conference she called taking stock of the energy ministry’s work over the past year.

Pilides said other offshore exploratory projects are likewise getting back on track following the delays caused by the coronavirus situation, stressing that the government is prepared to deal with any Turkish provocations on the high seas.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Amid Tensions, Turkey Expands Its Offshore Drilling Fleet - U.S. NEWS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Nov. 17, 2021, at 7:13 a.m.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey is acquiring a new drilling ship to search for natural gas in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, the country’s president announced Wednesday, amid unresolved tensions with Greece and Cyprus over Ankara's offshore energy exploration.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told legislators from his ruling party that Turkey is expanding its fleet of drilling vessels to four, describing the new ship as a high-tech vessel.

Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said on Twitter that the ship would be capable of drilling at a depth of some 3,600 meters (11,800 feet).

Friday, November 12, 2021

LNG import terminal a ‘transformational project’ for Cyprus - CYPRUS MAIL

November 12, 2021
Kyriacos Nicolaou

The LNG import terminal project would be transformational for Cyprus said Symeon Kassianides, the chairman of the Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA), said on Thursday at the Eastern Mediterranean Energy Conference being held in Nicosia,

“This project will lift Cyprus’ energy isolation and reduce the country’s reliance on oil,” Kassianides said, adding: “It’s a transformational project for the country, it will lead to lower electricity costs, new technological developments and create jobs.”

Cyprus’ LNG import terminal, a pivotal energy project, took centre stage, during the second of the three-day conference in which energy industry professionals from Cyprus and abroad are participating.

Kassianides, whose presentation looked at DEFA’s impact and the transition towards a cleaner energy source, explained that this is the largest sustainable investment ever undertaken by Cyprus.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Is Egypt’s Oil And Gas Sector Set To Boom? -

Nov 06, 2021, 10:00 AM CDT
Felicity Bradstock
  • Italian oil major, Eni, announced this week that it has made three new oil and gas discoveries in the Meleiha region of western Egypt.
  • The new discovery further adds to Egypt’s recent announcement that it expects to become self-sufficient in oil by as early as 2023.
  • Eni’s finds are just the latest in several significant oil and gas discoveries over the last decade.
As Eni makes a new oil and gas discovery in Western Egypt, the future of energy in the oil-rich nation looks promising. After record production figures were hit in September for the first time since 1957, with an output of 65,000 bpd, as well as plans for new refineries and high levels of LNG production, Egypt looks set to not only become self-sufficient in energy but also to become a major exporter.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Next exploration round will determine the speed and way of hydrocarbon exploitation, Minister says - CYPRUS MAIL

November 5, 2021

The next natural gas exploration round as well as the hydrocarbon quantities located will determine the speed and the exploitation of the hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry Natasa Pilides has said.

Addressing the 9th Energy Symposium in Nicosia, Pilides also expressed the view that natural gas should remain a transitory fuel as the EU progresses to the green transition despite views expressed that this should be banned from the energy mix.

“The next exploration round, which is expected to begin with the drilling by ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum in block 10, is something we eagerly await with high expectations, because surely the hydrocarbon quantities in our offshore blocks will determine to a large extent the speed and the way of exploitation of the hydrocarbons in the Cypriot EEZ,” Pilides said.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Greece says wants to discuss maritime zones with Turkey - REUTERS

October 29, 2021, 4:29 PM EEST

ATHENS, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Greece said it would be willing to agree with Turkey on demlimiting their respective economic zones at sea, urging its neighbour to tone down what it said were tensions harming Ankara's ties with the EU.

The two neighbours, allies in NATO, are at odds over a number of issues from commercial rights in the Aegean to territorial waters and the ethnically-split island of Cyprus.

"My door is always open, but this dialogue presupposes a reduction in unnecessary tensions," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said after meeting German Acting Chancellor Angela Merkel who was visiting Athens.

"Greece has signed agreements defining exclusive economic zones with neighbouring countries like Italy, Egypt. There is no reason why we cannot do it with Turkey, provided that the tensions be toned down, and realise that such an approach would be eventually beneficial to both countries," Mitsotakis said.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Eni Makes Three Discoveries in Egypt’s Western Desert - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Wednesday, 27 October, 2021 - 08:45
Cairo - Sabri Nageh

Egypt’s petroleum ministry said on Tuesday that Italian energy group Eni made three oil and gas discoveries in the western desert.

The discoveries include oil, gas and condensate discoveries in the Meleiha concession, and an oil discovery in the South Mleiha concession area.

According to the Ministry of Petroleum, the finds in the Meleiha Development Concession were found via the Yasmin W-1X and MWD-21 wells, which were drilled in the Aman region near the West Meleiha deep field, respectively.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

EXCLUSIVE Israel considering new pipeline to boost gas exports to Egypt - REUTERS

October 21, 2021 4:14 PM EEST
By Ron Bousso and Ari Rabinovitch

  • Israel, Egypt holding talks on new onshore pipeline -ministry
  • New pipeline expected to cost $200 mln -industry sources
  • Pipeline will boost exports by 3 to 5 bcm/year -industry sources

LONDON, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Israel is considering the construction of a new onshore pipeline to Egypt in order to quickly boost natural gas exports to its neighbour in the wake of the recent tightening of global supplies, the Israeli energy ministry said.

The pipeline, which will connect the Israeli and Egyptian natural gas grids through the north of the Sinai peninsula, is estimated to cost around $200 million and could be operational within 24 months, industry sources who are close to the discussions told Reuters.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Cyprus, Egypt sign deal to speed up electricity grid linkage - THE SEATTLE TIMES / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Oct. 16, 2021 at 5:04 pm
The Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — An undersea cable linking the electricity grids of Cyprus and Egypt could be key to helping both countries transition to a green economy and meet their commitments on battling climate change, the Cypriot energy minister said Saturday.

Minister Natasa Pilides said a memorandum of understanding she signed with Egypt’s Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi sketches out the project’s planning, development and implementation.

“Fortifying our electricity grids and allowing the further integration of renewables in our respective energy mix, enhancing the security of our energy supply and enabling us to become exporters of energy, are but a few of the tangible benefits,” Pilides said.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Cyprus: ExxonMobil to gauge gas field size in 6-8 weeks - MIAMI HERALD, ASSOCIATED PRESS

OCTOBER 14, 2021 3:07 PM
Menelaos Hadjicostis

NICOSIA, CYPRUS Drilling by ExxonMobil set for late next month to confirm how much natural gas is contained in a sizable deposit off Cyprus' southwestern coast will map out how the fuel will reach potential markets in Europe and Asia, the island nation's energy minister said on Wednesday.

Minister Natasa Pilides says the “significant” drilling at the ‘Glaucus-1’ well inside block 10 of Cyprus’ exclusive zone scheduled to start in 6-8 weeks will determine if the deposit is at the higher or lower end of its estimated size of 5-8 trillion cubic feet (142-227 billion cubic meters) of natural gas.

A higher confirmed quantity would naturally mean greater profits and in turn push exploitation of the deposit up the priority list for ExxonMobil and partner Qatar Petroleum among the different projects they’re currently working on.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Egypt starts construction of gas pipeline in Western Desert - REUTERS

CAIRO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Egypt started construction of a gas pipeline in the Western Desert with an expected capacity of 15 million cubic feet of gas per day, the petroleum ministry said on Facebook on Saturday, citing the head of the General Petroleum Corporation.

The company's current production is about 74,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, he said.

Reporting by Nayera Abdallah; writing by Yomna Ehab; editing by Jason Neely

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Greece ratifies landmark intra-NATO defence pact with France - ALJAZEERA

7 Oct 2021
John Psaropoulos

Athens, Greece – Greece on Thursday ratified a mutual defence pact with France, the first between two NATO members.

The two countries are already bound to help each other from an attack originating outside the alliance. But the Strategic Partnership on Defence and Security for the first time joins two NATO members to support one another from an attack originating inside the alliance.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed the agreement as the cornerstone of an independent European defence policy.

“The defence of European interests in the Mediterranean now acquires new substance,” Mitsotakis told parliament. “If attacked, our country will have at its side the most powerful military on the continent, the sole European nuclear power.”

Article 2 of the Partnership states that the pair will assist each other “with all the means at their disposal, in the event that armed force is needed, if they both ascertain that an attack is taking place against the territory of either.”

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Eni expanding portfolio of gas projects offshore Libya - OFFSHORE

29 SEPT 2021

TRIPOLI, Libya – Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi has held talks with Abdulhamid Dbeibah, the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity of Libya, on future energy developments in the country.

Descalzi confirmed Eni’s commitment to its operational activities and projects in Libya, with a focus on natural gas to help meet the country’s growing energy needs.

New offshore development projects include Structures A&E, Bouri Gas Utilization, Sabratha Compression (at the offshore Bahr Essalam field), and Hamada.

The two officials also discussed projects in the renewable energy sector, including opportunities for CO2 emissions reductions.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Shell Completes Sale of Western Desert Assets in Egypt to Cheiron and Cairn - JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY (JPT)

NEAG 1 in NE Abu El-Gharadig, Western Desert
September 26, 2021
Pat Davis Szymczak

Royal Dutch Shell has completed the sale of its upstream assets in Egypt’s Western Desert to a consortium of independent E&P operators focused on revitalizing mature oil and gas fields, Cheiron Petroleum Corporation and Cairn Energy, both UK-based.

Having received final government and regulatory approvals completing the sale, Shell said it will focus its Egyptian business on the offshore, including the West Delta Deep Marine (WDDM), the Harmattan Deep Project, and exploration acreage in seven new blocks in the Nile Delta, West Mediterranean, and the Red Sea, according to a 24 September news release.

Shell’s midstream focus will remain on its Egyptian LNG joint venture; downstream the company still retains Shell Lubricants Egypt.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

President talks gas with ExxonMobil - CYPRUS MAIL

September 25, 2021

President Nicos Anastasiades and ExxonMobil discussed the company’s drilling plans in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) block 10, during a meeting in New York, a presidency statement said Saturday.

The ExxonMobil delegation was headed by Senior Vice President Mike Cousins.

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides and Energy Minister Natasa Pilidou also took part.

The two sides discussed issues related to the company’s plans in block 10 and developments in the eastern Mediterranean as well as further actions on the part of the government of Cyprus regarding the unhindered implementation of its energy designs in Cyprus’ EEZ.

LNG Terminal of Alexandroupolis secures funding from the Operational Programme Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2014-2020 - GASTRADE

A major milestone for the LNG Terminal of Alexandroupolis has been achieved as it has been formally included in the Operational Programme Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2014-2020 (ΕΣΠΑ - ΕΠΑνΕΚ), thus securing its financing of € 166.7 mil. The Project will enhance energy security and independence of supply for Greece and SE Europe.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Egypt Snubs LNG, Plans To Send Gas to Lebanon Via the Arab Gas Pipeline - JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY

September 23, 2021
Pat Davis Szymczak

Egypt says it is stopping gas supplies to the Egypt Liquefied Natural Gas (ELNG) export terminal at Idku near Alexandria immediately and that it will supply gas to the Damietta LNG plant only until year end as it prepares to redirect surplus gas exports to Lebanon via the Arab Gas Pipeline.

Jordan’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources announced in early September it would deliver Egyptian gas to Lebanon after oil ministers of nations responsible for the Arab Gas Pipeline (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon) met in Amman to agree on a regional response to Lebanon’s ongoing fuel and electricity crisis, local media reported.

The English language news site quoted Egyptian Minister Tarek El Molla as saying, “Egypt is working to speed up coordination for delivering Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon through Jordan and Syria.”

Lebanon is in a state of economic collapse that the World Bank has called one of the worst on record, and, because it lacks foreign currency to pay for energy imports, the country was forced to switch off its two main power plants in July for lack of fuel, plunging the country into a near total blackout.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Halliburton lands work off Israel - NATURAL GAS NEWS

Sep 14, 2021 3:40:pm
Daniel Graeber 

Upstream services company Halliburton said September 14 it was awarded a contract to drill as many as five wells off the coast of Israel.

Halliburton will conduct the work for Energean, a Mediterranean- and North Sea-focused explorer.

“Halliburton will collaborate with Energean to economically and safely deliver exploration, appraisal, and development wells offshore Israel,” the services company explained. “The contract is for three firm and two optional wells to deliver all services including project management, directional drilling, drill bits, drilling fluids, cementing, solids control, wireline, slickline, completions, production enhancement, and subsea services.”

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Cyprus-Egypt technical committee on the joint gas pipeline project to meet 15/9 - IN-CYPRUS - PHILELEFTHEROS


The technical committee that is working on the preparations for a joint gas pipeline project between Cyprus and Egypt will convene on 15th September, according to a statement released on Sunday by the office of the Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry, Natasa Pelides. The minister said she was very satisfied with her meetings in the Egyptian capital on Saturday.

The Energy Ministers of Cyprus and Egypt also decided on Saturday to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the electricity interconnection between the two countries in the coming months. A business mission will also travel from Cyprus to Egypt to increase the trade of goods and services.

Discussions between Pelides and Egyptian Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Tariq Al-Mulla as well as Nevin Gamea, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the framework of the first Intergovernmental Meeting were “very constructive and totally productive”, the  press release said.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

UAE-Israel Ties Deepen as Mubadala Buys Gas Stake for $1 Billion - BLOOMBERG

September 2, 2021, 1:51 PM GMT+3
Alisa Odenheimer
  • Delek Drilling will sell 22% stake in Tamar field off Israel
  • Deal is biggest since UAE and Israel normalized ties last year
Delek Drilling LP agreed to sell a stake in a natural-gas field to Mubadala Investment Co. for $1 billion, marking the biggest deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates since they normalized ties last year.

Tel Aviv-based Delek’s shares jumped after it said it would sell its 22% stake in the Tamar offshore field to Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi wealth fund with $243 billion of assets. The stock rose 4.8% to 5.02 shekels by 1.48 p.m. in Tel Aviv.

Monday, August 16, 2021

ExxonMobil plans to start gas drilling by end of year - CYPRUS MAIL

August 16, 2021
George Psyllides

ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum plan on drilling for gas in an offshore block towards the end of the year, Energy Minister Natasa Pilidou has said.

In an interview with daily Politis, the minister said the two companies planned on drilling an appraisal well in block 10 where natural gas was discovered towards the end of November or early December.

“The experts who will take part in the appraisal drill at the Glaucus [Glafcos] well are already in our country and we are in constant contact with the company concerning the procedures that will be followed, both as regards measures against the pandemic, and the plan, the budget, timeframes, etc,” Pilidou said.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Egypt, Israel discuss plans to liquefy natural gas in Egyptian plants - XINHUA

2021-08-10 06:13:26

CAIRO, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tariq al-Molla and the Israeli Minister of Energy Karine Elharrar discussed on Monday future plans to liquefy Israeli gas in Egyptian plants.

During a phone conversation, the two sides discussed the ongoing cooperation in the field of natural gas, and future plans to pump Israeli natural gas to be liquefied in Egyptian factories for re-export, the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources said in a statement.

The two ministers also talked about cooperation within the framework of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), stressing the need to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

In January 2019, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Jordan, and Palestine established the Cairo-based EMGF, whose charter entered into force in March, to become an intergovernmental organization concerned with natural gas affairs.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

European Commission to fund major LNG project in Greece - RIVIERA NEWS

22 Jun 2021

The European Commission (EC) will provide €166.7M (US$198M) for the construction of a new LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis, Greece

Funding for the project, which is expected to improve security of supply for Greece and the wider southeastern European region, was approved under the EU’s state aid rules.

Commenting on the EC’s decision, executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager said “The new LNG terminal in Alexandroupolis will improve gas supply and infrastructure not only in Greece, but in the whole southeastern European region. This will contribute to achieving the EU’s goals in terms of security and diversification of energy supply. The Greek support measure limits the aid to what is necessary to make the project happen and sufficient safeguards will be in place to ensure that potential competition distortions are minimised.”

The Greek State will finance the project using European Structural and Investment Funds and support will take the form of a direct grant amounting to €166.7M (US$198M).

Egypt wants to export surplus gas to Europe through Greece - ARAB NEWS

22 JUNE 2021

RIYADH: Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said he wanted to work with the Greek government to export surplus natural gas to Europe.

It is part of a wider push to boost cooperation across energy and electrical grid interconnection across the island of Crete, which lies midway between the North African country and mainland Greece.

He made the disclosure during talks in Cairo on Monday between Egypt and Greece, co-chaired by Madbouly and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Al Arabiya reported.

A number of recent offshore gas finds in the Eastern Mediterranean are rapidly redrawing Europe's energy landscape and shifting the balance of power as more countries move towards self-sufficiency in gas.

At the same time some countries in the region are also exploring the potential to link their power grids to allow the movement of electricity across borders.

It could potentially lead to Gulf Arab states exporting power north to Europe during the winter months when demand is high for heating and for European countries to share their excess power in the summer months, when demand rises in the Gulf, driven by rising air conditioning consumption.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Delek’s Sale of East Med Stake to Mubadala Petroleum Hailed as First Fruits of Abraham Accords - JOURNALOF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY

April 28, 2021
Pat Davis Szymczak

Israel’s Delek Drilling is selling its 22% nonoperated stake in the Tamar gas field offshore Israel to Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Petroleum for up to $1.1 billion in what would be, if finalized, the largest commercial agreement since Israel and the UAE signed the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement in August 2020.

Delek announced Tuesday it had signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mubadala Petroleum, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi government-owned Mubadala Investment Co. Delek said Mubadala would pay up to $1.1 billion for the stake,

Delek CEO Yossi Abu said the sale has “the potential to be another major development in our ongoing vision for natural gas commercial strategic alignment in the Middle East, whereby natural gas becomes a source of collaboration in the region.

“We are proud to have signed this MOU following the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement between Israel and the UAE,” Abu said, adding that he “would like to thank my counterparty at Mubadala Petroleum and our clients in Israel, Egypt, and Jordan.”

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.