PM rules out new tender for hydrocarbon licenses

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, fielding questions at a news conference yesterday, ruled out the possibility of any new international tender for additional licenses concerning onshore or offshore hydrocarbon exploration.

“We are not considering exploring other areas,” the Prime Minister informed, responding to a related question.

Reignited hydrocarbon exploration activity for natural gas deposits in Greece had generated rumors the government would consider staging additional tenders to grant new licenses for exploration south of Crete as well as at an offshore area between the island and the Peloponnese.

Commenting on the progress of surveys being conducted west and southwest of Crete by a consortium comprised of ExxonMobil and Helleniq Energy, formerly ELPE, the Greek Prime Minister said a clearer picture is expected towards the end of the year.

The ExxonMobil-Helleniq Energy consortium may extend the duration of its 2D seismic surveys at these blocks until the end of the first quarter to collect additional data. This could result in greater clarity and enable the consortium to skip the need for 3D surveys.

Elsewhere, Energean and Helleniq Energy are also pressing ahead with respective licenses in the Ionian Sea. Both companies have completed seismic surveys and expect to have received results towards the fourth quarter.

Energean holds a license for an offshore block northwest of Corfu and Helleniq Energy holds two licenses, Ionio and Kyparissiakos (Gulf of Kyparissia).

 

Bureaucracy, elections troubling upstream sector in Greece

ExxonMobil, Energean and Helleniq Energy, formerly ELPE, all conducting hydrocarbon surveys at Greek licenses, have not only stuck to their schedules but even taken initiatives to speed up procedures for sooner-than-expected drilling. Even so, two factors beyond their control, namely bureaucracy and imminent elections, may hold up their plans.

Energean skipped 2D surveys at its Block 2 offshore license in the Ionian Sea’s northwest, moving straight on to 3D surveys.

Hellenic Energy moved swiftly in 2022 to complete 2D and 3D seismic surveys at two offshore licenses, Ionio and Block 10, both in the Ionian Sea.

ExxonMobil is considering to start drilling sooner than originally planned at its offshore Cretan licenses. As a result, it is staging more comprehensive 2D surveys for a clearer picture of geological details.

State bureaucracy is an obstacle for upstream companies operating in Greece. The overall procedure concerning social and environmental impact studies, which require energy ministry approval ahead of drilling, requires at least eight months to be completed.

Then, upstream companies usually require a further six months or so to make arrangements for drilling rigs, configure sites and identify a port or base area for their drilling rigs.

The uncertainty created by the upcoming Greek elections, expected within the first half of the year, is another factor troubling the efforts of upstream companies.

 

ExxonMobil drilling for gas off Crete may begin a year earlier

ExxonMobil could begin drilling at licenses offshore Crete a year earlier than planned as the American energy giant tends to adopt a more direct approach when exploring for natural gas, sector authorities have noted.

Such was the case at Cyprus’ Block 10, for which ExxonMobil conducted seismic surveys before skipping the 3D survey stage to go straight ahead with drilling that led to the discovery of the Glafkos deposit, the officials pointed out.

A consortium comprised of ExxonMobil and Helleniq Energy, formerly ELPE, holds licenses for two offshore Crete blocks, one west of the island, the other southwest. The consortium has commissioned PGS to conduct 2D seismic surveys at both these licenses. They are in full progress and are expected to be completed towards the end of January.

According their original plan, ExxonMobil and Helleniq Energy planned to follow up with 3D surveys at the end of 2023 or early in 2024. However, if ExxonMobil, the consortium’s operator, opts to skip the 3D surveys, initial drilling offshore Crete will begin sooner, in 2024, instead of 2025.

Elsewhere, in the Ionian Sea, a consortium made up of Helleniq Energy and Energean expects to have the results of 3D surveys at three blocks, Ionio, Kyparissiakos, and Block 2, by the end of 2023 or early in 2024. It will then decide if it will continue with initial drilling.

 

Helleniq Energy set for 3D surveys at licenses in west

Helleniq Energy, previously named Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE), is expected to begin conducting 3D seismic surveys at two offshore licenses, Ionio, in the Ionian Sea, and block 10 in the Gulf of Kyparissia, west of Peloponnese, within the next few days.

A Navtex for both endeavors has already been issued. PGS, commissioned to conduct the seismic surveys, will use its Ramform Hyperion seismic vessel. It will roll out twelve cables covering 8-km distances to scan sea beds for possible natural gas deposits.

The Ramform Hyperion seismic vessel appears to have completed work at the Ionian Sea’s block 2, adjacent to Italian territory in the Adriatic Sea, on behalf of a consortium comprising Energean and Helleniq Energy.

The vessel collected data from an area covering 2,000 square kilometers. Survey work at block 2 commenced in late October.

According to a Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Sources Management Company (HEREMA) schedule, blocks 2 and 10 are expected to be ready for drilling by early 2024. Helleniq Energy conducted 2D surveys at both blocks last February.

 

 

 

New extension for South Kavala UGS tender most likely, investors hesitant

The government appears to have reached a decision to order yet another deadline extension for the submission of binding bids in a tender staged by privatization fund TAIPED for the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north, being offered for the development and operation of a prospective underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) for a 50-year period.

The current deadline expires today, but, according to sources, authorities fear the tender’s final-round qualifiers will not submit bids as they have complained pricing regulations established by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, do not make the investment viable.

Energean and a partnership bringing together gas grid operator DESFA and construction company GEK Terna have qualified for the tender’s final-round.

 

 

Energean moving ahead with wider exploration and development plan

Energean is moving ahead with its exploration and development program both in Israel and in other Mediterranean markets following the commencement of production at its Karish field, offshore Israel, and positive results from the neighboring “Zeus” and “Hermes” wells.

Energean has reported significant developments regarding the installation of a second processing line at its Karish North field, which promises to upgrade production to 8 billion cubic meters and 32,000 barrels of oil in total. The upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

Along with its first-half results, the company has noted its next step is first gas production from the NEA/NI license in Egypt. Subsea installations have been completed and gas production is expected to commence by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Energean plans to conduct four more drilling efforts at its Abu Qir licence, also in Egypt, in 2023 and 2024.

As for its offshore Cassiopea license in Italy’s Strait of Sicily, Energean plans to begin gas production in the first half of 2024 with an objective to boost its production in Italy from 9,300 bpd at present to 20,000 bpd.

Energean has made two important discoveries at its Athena and Zeus offshore Israel licenses, both west of Karish. The Athena field has been certified, by an independent appraiser, as having potential reserves (2C) of 11.75 bcm of natural gas, while, two weeks ago, an initial estimate of 13.3 bcm of natural gas was made for the Zeus field.

Energean has also made a third discovery further south, at Block 31 (Hermes deposit), estimated to be holding between 7 and 15 billion cubic meters. Drilling at the Hercules well, in the same area, has been in progress over the past few weeks.

Energean has announced it will have a report, from an independent appraiser, on the potential of new discoveries in early 2023, the company’s aim being to present a specific development plan in the first half of the year.

Options being considered for additional volumes include the sale of additional gas to the Israeli market, exports to Egypt, as well as exports to Cyprus with the prospect of liquefaction for sales of quantities to European markets.

Energean has already signed contracts for the supply of 7.2 billion cubic meters of gas to Israel. Significant quantities are expected to start reaching customers in 2023.

Helleniq Energy set for 3D surveys off Greece’s west

Helleniq Energy is preparing to conduct 3D seismic surveys at two licenses, block 10 in the Gulf of Kyparissia, west of the Peloponnese, and the “Ionio” block in the Ionian Sea, within the next few weeks, chief executive Andreas Siamisiis has told analysts during a presentation of the group’s financial results for the nine-month period.

Helleniq Energy, which recently underwent a name change from ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), had previously conducted 2D surveys at these two blocks last February. Its decision to take a step further with 3D surveys at the two licenses suggests a clearer picture of promising targets already identified is needed.

The energy group’s decision to move ahead with its hydroexploration plans reflects the overall determination of the government, HEREMA, the Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management Company, and investors to press ahead with exploration programs to identify potential targets with natural gas reserves.

Elsewhere, Energean is pushing ahead with its survey work at block 2 in the Ionian Sea, adjacent to Italian territory in the Adriatic Sea.

In addition, an ExxonMobil-led consortium involving Helleniq Energy as a junior partner is moving rapidly with survey work at two offshore block licenses west and southwest of Crete.

 

Greece advances its upstream gas exploration program

Following an announcement by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and successful geophysical surveys conducted in early 2022 in the Central and South Ionian, Greece’s national hydrocarbons and energy resources corporation, HEREMA, today announced the next steps in the country’s upstream exploration programme with the acquisition of a 3D seismic survey in the North Ionian Sea (block 2), and 2D seismic surveys West and South/West of Crete.

In April, the Prime Minister announced the country’s accelerated timeframe to explore Greece’s upstream potential, with focus on natural gas and the expansion of HEREMA, which today oversees upstream exploration, greenhouse gas management & sequestration, gas storage, offshore wind and international pipeline projects.

The surveys will take place during the winter months ahead, in order to minimize any environmental impact, and will be conducted in accordance with the best-in-class standards for environmental protection, including:

  • Use of the “soft start” protocol to ensure that marine mammals can temporarily depart from the seismic survey area prior to its commencement.
  • Doubling of marine mammal observers onboard the seismic survey vessel to ensure protection of cetaceans and other marine life within the safety zone.
  • Extension of the safety zone radius around the seismic survey vessel in case of detection of large marine animals.
  • Waiting period 30 minutes before the start and stop of each exploration activity.
  • Passive acoustic monitoring of underwater sounds for the measurement of sea noise levels and the detection of marine mammals.
  • Application of a 1 km exclusion zone around the “Natura” areas as well as fish farms.
  • Airborne monitoring of cetaceans during and after seismic surveys.
  • Full compliance with all applicable regulations and guidelines in accordance with MARPOL VI and ACCOBAMS conventions and JNCC guidelines.

Compliance with the above measures and all relevant procedures shall be ensured by the presence on board the research vessel of independent observers from HEREMA. Furthermore, during the surveys experienced specialized personnel is in constant communication with the involved local and regional port authorities as well as with the commercial and fishing vessels that sail near the survey areas in order to ensure the smooth execution of both the geophysical surveys as well as the daily activities in the specific areas.

Aris Stefatos, CEO of HEREMA, commented “we are very happy to announce this progress in line with the plan we announced with the Prime Minister earlier this year. International investors and partners in both conventional and renewable energies have reacted very positively to that plan. In August we welcomed ExxonMobil as new operator in Crete, and the pace at which we progress is evidence of our excellent cooperation with leading energy companies and service providers, such as ExxonMobil, Helleniq Energy, Energean, and PGS — a leading global seismic acquisition and processing company.”

Rikard Scoufias, Chairman of HEREMA hailed the progress and said “this marks another important milestone in our strategy to monetize Greece’s natural gas resources and our efforts to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable energy mix and strengthening security of supply. Greek natural gas can play an important role — not only for Greece, but also in support of the broader region and Europe’s increasing demand for domestic energy resources at a crucial time for energy security.”

HEREMA Profile

Hellenic Hydrocarbons and Energy Resources Management S.A. (HEREMA S.A.), formerly HHRM, is Greece’s independent State-owned company responsible for managing the country’s hydrocarbon resources. Following the appointment in 2020 of new leadership for the company, HEREMA’s strategic remit has been expanded and today encompasses the upstream sector, greenhouse gas management & sequestration, gas storage, international pipeline projects (including the EastMed pipeline, and the recently completed IGB interconnector), and offshore wind.

 

 

Energean plc commercial gas discovery at Zeus, offshore Israel

London, 7 November 2022 – Energean plc has announced that i) the Zeus-01 exploration well, offshore Israel, has made a commercial gas discovery of 13 bcm ii) contingent resources at neighboring Athena have been upgraded following post-well analysis; and iii) the Stena IceMax drilling rig has moved to block 23 to drill the Hercules structure, the final well in Energean’s 2022 drilling campaign.

Zeus well results

The Zeus exploration well, block 12, offshore Israel, has made a commercial discovery with preliminary estimates indicating that the structure contains 13.3 bcm of recoverable natural gas resources (pre-drill estimate 10 – 12 bcm). Energean is now undertaking post-well analysis of the data collected during drilling.

Athena resource upgrade

Energean’s reserve auditor, DeGolyer & MacNaughton (“D&M”), has certified contingent resources of 11.75 bcm in the Athena discovery, an increase of 3.75 bcm on the Company’s 8 bcm preliminary estimate. This increase follows post well studies undertaken on data collected during the drilling process.

Olympus area

The results from the Zeus well and the Athena post-well analysis provide Energean with additional confidence about the volumes and commerciality of the Olympus area, and the Company is now progressing its field development plan. Energean expects to update the market on the total resource volumes within the Olympus area, taking into account the uplifted volumes in both Zeus and Athena, in early 2023. This update will be based upon a Competent Persons Report that is being undertaken by D&M.

Hercules well

The Stena IceMax has now moved to block 23 to drill the Hercules structure, where the Miocene gas prospect will be targeted.

Mathios Rigas, CEO of Energean commented:

Following the start of production from our Karish reservoir last week, I am pleased that our drilling programme, which has now delivered five successful wells from five, continues to deliver value, ensuring security of supply and energy competition across the region. We are evaluating a number of potential commercialisation options for the Olympus area that leverage both new and our existing, unique Med-based infrastructure, and we expect to commit to a development concept in 1H 2023. ”

.

South Kavala UGS tender likely to conclude without result

A deadline for the submission of binding bids in a tender staged by privatization fund TAIPED for the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north, being offered for the development and operation of a prospective underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) for a 50-year period, has been finalized for November 28, approximately two-and-a-half years after the tender was announced, energypress sources have informed.

However, the tender’s two final-round qualifiers – Energean and a partnership bringing together gas grid operator DESFA and construction company GEK Terna – have complained related pricing regulations are far from making the investment viable. Subsequently, the participants will most likely not submit binding bids, sources closely following the procedure have noted.

If so, the tender will most likely be declared inconclusive, setting back the country’s plan for a domestic UGS. Its gas storage capacity would offer crucial protection for Greece against international market price volatility.

Officials representing the energy ministry, TAIPED and RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, held a meeting last week on the South Kavala UGS, where a decision was reached to complete the ongoing tender as soon as possible, with the current pricing regulation intact.

The tender for the South Kavala UGS was launched by TAIPED in June, 2020.

Energean set for seismic survey at Ionian Sea’s block 2

A consortium comprising Energean and Helleniq Energy, formerly Hellenic Petroleum, is set to begin a seismic survey at the Ionian Sea’s block 2, adjacent to Italian territory in the Adriatic Sea, reliable sources have informed energypress.

Norwegian company PGS will collect 3D data covering an area of 2,000 square kilometers with its Ramform Hyperion seismic vessel, following orders by Energean, the operator, the sources added.

The Hellenic Navy has issued a Navtex, offering navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, for the seismic survey, to be conducted a long way off the coast, by the sea border shared with Italy.

The Energean – Helleniq Energy consortium has decided to conduct this offshore survey at block 2 in the Ionian Sea following a government decision last spring to accelerate Greece’s exploration plan for the identification of potential natural gas deposits. The 3D seismic data to be acquired will replace existing 2D data.

The upcoming effort promises to be the sixth seismic survey to be conducted in Greece over the past seven years following surveys at Prinos in 2015, the Gulf of Patras in 2016, Ioannina in 2018-2019, and at blocks in the Ionian Sea and Gulf of Kyparissia-northwest Peloponnese last spring.

 

Energean plc confirms first gas from Karish field

London, 26 October 2022 – Energean plc (LSE: ENOG, TASE: אנאג) has confirmed that first gas has been safely delivered at the Karish field, offshore Israel.

Highlights

  • First gas has been achieved on the Karish project
  • Gas is being produced from the Karish Main-02 well and the flow of gas is being steadily ramped up
  • Preparation for transmission through the gas sales pipeline is progressing and gas sales to Energean’s customers are expected to commence in the next couple of days
  • Karish Main-01 and Karish Main-03 wells are expected to be opened up in approximately two and four weeks, respectively

The Energean Power FPSO and the sales gas pipeline have an ultimate capacity of 8 bcm/yr. The initial capacity is up to 6.5 bcm/yr, and commercial gas sales are expected to reach this level approximately four to six months following first gas. Energean’s growth projects – the Karish North development, the second oil train and the second export riser – are on track for completion in late 2023, following which Energean will be able to produce to the full 8 bcm/yr capacity of its infrastructure.

Mathios Rigas, Chief Executive Officer of Energean, commented:

I am delighted to confirm that Energean has reached first gas at the Karish field, offshore Israel. 

“We have delivered a landmark project that brings competition to the Israeli gas market, enhances security of energy supply in the East Med region and brings affordable and clean energy that will displace coal-fired power generation, making a material impact to the environment.

“We are committed to reach our medium-term targets of 200 kboed production and $1.75 billion of annualised EBITDAX and the delivery of the Karish project is a major milestone towards this goal. We are now focused on ramping up production and delivering the full 8 bcm capacity through our expansion project to the Energean Power FPSO.”

 

 

Ukraine war adds to complexity of Greek-Albanian EEZ dispute in Ionian

An unresolved exclusive economic zone dispute between Greece and Albania over territorial rights in the Ionian Sea has become even more complicated as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine, a conflict that has turned the Ionian and Adriatic sea areas into a hotbed of confrontation between NATO and Russia.

According to a recent report published by Italian daily La Reppublica, numerous incidents, both minor and more intense, have taken place in the Adriatic and Ionian seas between the escorting forces of the US 6th Fleet aircraft carrier Harry Truman and Russian warships. At least one of these incidents took place off Corfu, military sources have informed.

The naval incidents in the region are a result of its increased strategic importance for NATO with regards to the war in Ukraine as well as military preparations for any possible spread of the conflict beyond Ukraine.

Greece and Albania, following an agreement between the two countries, have begun procedures to take their Ionian Sea EEZ dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The consequences of the Ukraine war add to the issue’s complexity.

Energean and ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), both holders of licenses in the Ionian Sea, are working to explore the region’s hydrocarbon prospects.

Clarity on Larco, South Kavala UGS privatizations by end of July

The fates of two long-running privatizations, state-controlled nickel producer Larco and the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north, being offered through a tender for the development and operation of a prospective underground natural gas storage facility (UGS), are expected to be cleared up by the end of July, privatization fund TAIPED’s chief executive Dimitris Politis has informed.

Also, the completion of gas company DEPA Infrastructure’s sale to Italian company Italgas is expected by September, along with new sale alternatives for the DEPA Commercial sale, whose initial procedure was officially terminated in May as a result of complications stemming from an ongoing legal battle between the company and fertilizer producer ELFE, the TAIPED official noted.

The “South Kavala” UGS tender’s final round has been held up as a result of objections raised by participants over project pricing regulations established by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy. These regulations are expected to soon be published in the government gazette.

Energean and a partnership bringing together gas grid operator DESFA and construction company GEK Terna are the final-round qualifiers of the “South Kavala” UGS tender.

Larco sale participants have been set a July 29 deadline for binding bids, Politis, the TAIPED chief, informed.

As for the DEPA Infrastructure sale procedure, hurdles have been removed as a result of revisions separating certification requirements set by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, for the gas company’s distribution subsidiaries from the DEPA Infrastructure sale.

Alternative plans for the ill-fated DEPA Commercial sale, including a possible partial privatization, will be announced by September or October, the TAIPED chief informed.

Energean Power FPSO arrives at Israel location

Energean plc has announced the Energean Power FPSO’s arrival on location in Israel.

The FPSO was transported by two tugs from Sembcorp Marine’s Admiralty Yard in Singapore to Israel. The 5,532 nautical mile-long journey took 35 days, crossing six seas and passing through the Suez Canal.

Energean will immediately commence hook-up and commissioning operations, which includes risers and jumpers installation as well as the commissioning of the sales gas pipeline. Energean expects approximately three – four months of commissioning before first gas, which remains on track for Q3 this year.

Mathios Rigas, Chief Executive Officer of Energean, commented:

“I am delighted to confirm that the Energean Power FPSO has arrived on location in Israel. This marks a major step forward in delivering first gas from Karish which remains on track for Q3 2022. We look forward to continuing our progress through Karish first gas, the commercialisation of the newly defined Olympus Area and contributing to energy security and competition of supply for the region.”

 

 

TAIPED, Kavala UGS bidders call for greater user funding

Greece’s privatization fund TAIPED and the final-round bidders in a tender offering the development and operation of a prospective underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) at the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north have called for an increase of the project’s funding by energy network users to a degree of as much as 100 percent, from a level of 50 percent proposed by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy.

This call for the project’s greater funding percentage by energy network users was expressed by TAIPED and the sale’s two candidates – Energean and a partnership bringing together gas grid operator DESFA and construction company GEK Terna – during consultation staged by RAE.

The project’s increased funding percentage by energy network users would ensure its sustainability, while, on the contrary, the risk level would be high, the tender’s final-round qualifiers noted.

RAE’s consultation covered the UGS project’s pricing framework and DESFA’s ten-year development plan from 2022 to 2031.

 

Kavala UGS binding offers in July, pricing rules unchanged

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, has left unchanged, following consultation, a pricing framework for a prospective underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) at the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north, a step enabling the project’s binding-bids stage to go ahead, energypress sources have informed.

According to the tender’s latest schedule, included in a European Commission report published yesterday, binding bids will be submitted towards the end of July, while, in the lead-up, the two bidding teams, a consortium comprising gas grid operator DESFA and GEK TERNA, and rival bidder Energean, will be updated on the license’s details.

The tender is expected to be completed towards the end of October.

According to the project’s pricing framework, 50 percent of the UGS facility’s development cost, budgeted at 314 million euros, will be guaranteed through regulated earnings.

The project’s operator will need to retrieve the remainder either from the Greek State, on the grounds of strategic reserve maintenance, or from other users of the facility.

 

Energean Israel signs new Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement

London, 3 May 2022 – Energean plc (LSE: ENOG, TASE: אנאג) is pleased to announce that Energean Israel has signed a new Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (“GSPA“) for up to 0.8 bcm/yr.

Mathios Rigas, Chief Executive of Energean, commented:

“We are delighted to have signed a new GSPA of up to 0.8 bcm/yr for our flagship assets in Israel, delivering on one of our key milestones for 2022. This is the third in a row for us from the Israel Electric Corporation (“IEC“) power plant privatisation programme and I want to thank Edeltech and Shikun & Binui Energy for their continued trust and confidence. I’m pleased to also confirm that the Energean Power FPSO has sailed-away and we look forward to delivering first gas from Karish, which remains on track for Q3 this year.”

East Hagit Power Plant Limited Partnership commented:

“This is another important step in the completion of the East Hagit acquisition, and a further stage of the joint process by Edeltech and Shikun & Binui Energy to increase competition and efficiency of the electricity market, for the benefit of Israeli consumers.”

New GSPA signed with the East Hagit Power Plant Limited Partnership

Energean has signed a new GSPA, representing up to 0.8 Bcm/yr, to supply gas to the East Hagit Power Plant Limited Partnership (“EH Partnership“), a partnership between the Edeltech Group and Shikun & Binui Energy. EH Partnership was the winning bidder in the IEC East Hagit tender process, the third IEC power plant in the current series of four to be privatised. Energean is also a supplier of gas to Ramat Hovav and Alon Tavor, the first two power stations privatised in the series.

The GSPA is for a term of approximately 15 years, for a total contract quantity of up to 12 bcm.  The contract contains provisions regarding floor pricing, offtake exclusivity and a price indexation mechanism (not Brent price linked). The GSPA has been signed at levels that are in line with the other large, long-term contracts within Energean’s portfolio. The agreement has the potential to generate revenues of up to $2 billion over the offtake period and is subject only to buyers’ completion of the privatisation process, including lenders’ consent.

Combined with the spot sales agreement signed in March 2022 with IEC, the agreements have enhanced Energean’s gas sales portfolio towards filling the 8 bcm/yr of capacity on the Energean Power FPSO.

Operational update – Karish Project

The Energean Power FPSO has sailed-away from Singapore and Energean remains on track to deliver first gas from Karish in Q3 2022.

 

 

Sanctions on Russia boost Greece’s upstream prospects

The EU’s revised natural gas strategy, seeking alternative solutions as a result of sanctions imposed on Russia, has created favorable conditions for Greece’s upstream sector as the Greek market could become a destination for upstream companies operating in Russia and now needing to shift.

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, has forwarded letters to upstream companies already maintaining interests in Greece, informing them of the government’s intentions for a renewed, more ambitious hydrocarbon strategy.

EDEY also intends to hold meetings with these upstream companies to determine their levels of interest in the Greek market and shape its actions accordingly.

Total and ExxonMobil maintain hydrocarbon interests in Greece as co-members of a consortium holding two offshore licenses, west and southwest Crete. The two companies each have 40 percent stakes in this consortium, Greece’s ELPE holding the other 20 percent.

The consortium, it is believed, aims to conduct seismic surveys next winter at the offshore Crete licenses, still at early exploratory stages.

Besides these two licenses, a further four licenses have been granted in Greece. Energean maintains an onshore block in the Ioannina area, northwestern Greece. The company also holds a 75 percent stake at Block 2, northwest of Corfu, with ELPE as its partner. Also, ELPE holds two offshore licenses in the west, Block 10 and Ionio.

These six licenses could generate total turnover of 250 billion euros by 2030, assuming a 20 percent success rate during exploration, according to a conservative forecast made by EDEY.

Drilling for natural gas to begin with licenses in country’s west

Exploratory drilling for natural gas deposits at a total of six licenses in Greece will begin in the country’s west with two Greek companies, Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) and Energean, leading the way, according to the outcome of talks yesterday at the headquarters of EDEY, Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, which were headed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Drilling is expected to begin in mid-2023 at Energean’s onshore Ioannina block; followed, a year later, by drilling at Block 2, an offshore license northwest of Corfu that is held by Energean (75%) and ELPE (25%), following Total’s withdrawal; as well as Block 10 and Ionio, two offshore licenses held by ELPE.

Two further licenses, west and southwest of Crete, both held by a consortium that has brought together TotalEnergies (40%), ExxonMobil (40%) and ELPE (20%), are regarded as the most promising of all six licenses but, at the same time, are the least developed in terms or preliminary exploratory work. The consortium aims to conduct, next winter, seismic surveys covering 6,500 square kilometers.

Energean has already conducted a seismic survey at its Ioannina block, the most developed of all six licenses in Greece, and has set a drilling target.

Greece, Cyprus, Israel look to push ahead with key projects

The prospective East Med gas pipeline and a subsea electricity grid interconnection, projects that would link Israel with Cyprus and Greece and which are being heavily promoted as a result of the EU’s new energy policy, aiming to end the continent’s reliance on Russian gas as soon as possible, are expected to dominate the agenda of today’s trilateral meeting in Jerusalem between the energy ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

Energy company representatives will, for the first time, also be participating in a trilateral meeting of energy ministers involving the three countries, highlighting the determination of all three countries, and the EU, for swift progress on projects and agreements that would contribute to greater energy diversification for Europe.

Greek energy minister Kostas Skrekas will be accompanied by Kostas Xifaras, chief executive of gas company DEPA Commercial; Mathios Rigas, CEO of upstream company Energean; and Manos Manousakis, CEO of Greek power grid operator IPTO.

Representatives of corresponding Cypriot and Israeli companies will also be taking part in today’s trilateral meeting.

Prospects for the development of the EuroAsia electricity grid link promising to connect the three countries have grown considerably as Israel appears to have swept aside previous reservations. Israel has wanted the completion of the Crete-Cyprus link as a prerequisite ahead of further development.

 

 

Energean set for Israeli license drills, anticipating 110 bcm, exports to EU

Energean is preparing to conduct drilling operations at five Israeli EEZ offshore licenses secured by the company through a tender in 2017 and anticipates natural gas deposits of 110 billion cubic meters to serve exports to the EU, now looking for ways to end its reliance on Russian natural gas.

According to sources, Energean plans to begin its drilling effort within the next few days, at Block 12, before following up with drilling at Block 21 and Block 23.

Energean is also planning a follow-up confirmation drill at Karish and development at Karish North.

Energean plans to export, beyond Israel, natural gas extracted from all but one of the five aforementioned licenses, Karish.

Energean has already signed an agreement with Egypt’s EGAS for gas to reach the country via pipeline and, from there, via two terminals, be made available for export, including to Europe.

 

RAE to propose 50% consumer coverage of Kavala UGS cost

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, will propose that consumer surcharges cover 50 percent of the total development cost of a prospective underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) at the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north, sources have informed.

The authority is expected to include the UGS project on the agenda of its board meeting tomorrow and may forward, for consultation, its pricing policy and project funding proposal on Friday.

According to the same sources, the RAE plan includes a 35 percent cost-coverage proposal for the UGS project through EU funds or other support mechanisms – the Kavala project is on the EU’s PCI list, enabling EU funding – and 15 percent coverage by the investor.

The energy ministry appears to agree with RAE’s proposal for consumers to cover 50 percent of the UGS project’s cost through surcharges.

The need for strategic gas reserves has been further highlighted by the current energy crisis.

A pending regulatory framework from RAE is expected to soon be finalized, which would enable privatization fund TAIPED to move ahead with its next steps in the UGS’s tender. The procedure has remained stagnant for months.

The tender’s two final-round qualifiers, GEK TERNA – DESFA (Greek gas grid operator) and Energean, still need to submit binding offers. Should no other obstacles arise, the two qualifiers are likely to have submitted their binding offers within the next three months.

Five hydrogen projects seeking inclusion on IPCEI list

Authorities at the energy and development ministries are working on approval procedures for five hydrogen-related projects involving as many companies – Damco (Copelouzos group), Snam, Energean, TAP and gas grid operator DESFA – all seeking their inclusion on the EU’s list of Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI).

Damco is interested in developing a low-carbon blue hydrogen production facility in Greece’s north. The project is planned to use natural gas for the production of hydrogen, while also capturing carbon emissions.

A Damco partnership with Italy’s Snam, involved in a number of hydrogen projects, is looking to develop three hydrogen producing facilities, in Athens, Thessaloniki and Alexandroupoli, as well as hydrogen reloading railway stations.

Energean plans to develop a blue hydrogen plant of virtually zero emissions at Prinos, using natural gas and combining carbon capture and storage technology. Energean has already being given recovery fund approval and funding for this project.

DESFA, the gas grid operator, wants to develop hydrogen transmission projects.

TAP is interested in developing projects linked to the major White Dragon project – involving the country’s biggest energy groups with gas company DEPA Commercial as head coordinator, for a hydrogen producing facility in northern Greece’s lignite-dependent west Macedonia region – with the intention of transporting and exporting hydrogen to European markets through interconnections.

Once the five hydrogen projects are approved domestically, their investors will need to prove the maturity of the projects, technically and financially, in accordance with IPCEI criteria.

 

RAE close to decision on Kavala UGS pricing regulations

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is preparing to decide on business pricing regulations for a prospective underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) at the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north, a step that would pave the way for the second round of binding offers in an ongoing privatization offering contracts for the development and operation of the facility.

The facility’s pricing regulations are scheduled to be discussed at a RAE board meeting this Thursday, sources informed.

The authority may opt to not take a final decision on the pricing regulations during this session and instead announce a preceding public consultation procedure of brief duration, between one and two weeks, to take into account the resulting feedback and then decide on the pricing regulation details, the sources added.

A gas grid operator DESFA and GEK TERNA partnership, as well as Energean Oil & Gas have advanced to the second round of the project’s tender staged by privatization fund TAIPED.

According to a previous RAE decision, 50 percent of the project’s cost will be passed on to gas network users. As for the other 50 percent, 35 percent is expected to be covered through EU funding, assuming the project is included on the EU’s Projects of Common Interest (PCI) list, while the remaining 15 percent will be taken on by the eventual investor.

BSTDB loan to accelerate country’s hydrocarbons sector development

Financing to support implementation of ongoing development of Energean’s Epsilon field in Prinos

The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) is providing a loan of up to EUR 90.5 million to Energean Oil and Gas S.A. (Energean), the only Greek oil and gas producer. The proceeds will fund Energean’s investment plans – in particular the development of the Epsilon and Prinos fields – and will also support its working capital needs and the finalization of structural expenditures in the Prinos infrastructure complex.

The project will create jobs for suppliers of goods and services in the drilling and construction industries, as well as maintaining livelihoods in key Greek businesses amidst the on-going Covid-19 pandemic.

“Following the successful start of our cooperation in 2018, BSTDB’s continued support to Energean underlines our commitment to help Greece harness its indigenous natural resources for long-term economic growth, contribute to increased fiscal revenues and develop exports in the region. It will have an important development finance impact at a vital time when businesses try to recover from the global pandemic. Furthermore, while we are all committed to promoting renewable energy generation and cleaner energy sources, an essential element of this process is to ensure that the transition goes smoothly, and without disruptions that may undermine the shift to climate finance. Judicious use of fossil fuels, according to high standards of efficiency and pollution mitigation, remains a key part of ensuring the shift to greener energy generation,” said Dmitry Pankin, BSTDB President.

“Our new collaboration with BSTDB is crucial for the development of the Epsilon Oil Field that will extend the life of Greece’s sole hydrocarbon producing asset for several years. It also demonstrates the confidence the banking sector has to well structured and realistic development plans. Our goal is not only to further develop the hydrocarbon resources in the Gulf of Kavala, but also convert Prinos into a carbon neutral industrial complex that will be a landmark in the Mediterranean”, said Dr. Katerina Sardi, Energean Oil & Gas Managing Director and Country Manager in Greece.

Energean expects first oil from the Epsilon development in 1H 2023.

Energean Oil & Gas S.A. is a 100% subsidiary of Energean Plc, (LSE:ENOG TASE:אנאג), a London Premium Listed FTSE 250 listed E&P company with operations in eight countries across the Mediterranean and UK North Sea. Energean’s production comes mainly from the Abu Qir field in Egypt and fields in Southern Europe. The company’s flagship project is the 3.5 Tcf Karish, Karish North and Tanin development, offshore Israel, where it intends to use the newbuild fully-owned FPSO Energean Power, which will be the only FPSO in the Eastern Mediterranean, to produce first gas, commencing mid-2022. More info on: www.energean.com

The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) is an international financial institution established by Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. The BSTDB headquarters are in Thessaloniki, Greece. BSTDB supports economic development and regional cooperation by providing loans, credit lines, equity and guarantees for projects and trade financing in the public and private sectors in its member countries. The authorized capital of the Bank is EUR 3.45 billion. BSTDB is rated long-term “A” by Standard and Poor’s,  “A2” by Moody’s and “A+” by the Russian credit rating agency ACRA. For information on BSTDB, visit www.bstdb.org.

Energean to ramp up natural gas production in Egypt

Energean’s plans to develop and increase natural gas production from its concession areas in Egypt, have been discussed during a meeting in Cairo between H.E. the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Egypt Tarek El Molla and Energean CEO Mathios Rigas.

During the meeting, Mr. El. Molla and Mr. Rigas discussed the company’s plan to link gas discoveries in North Idku and North El Amriya to the existing production facilities in Abu Qir, offshore Alexandria.

Mr. El Molla stressed the importance of the continuous cooperation and coordination between the ministry and international companies to speed up the implementation of new projects, aimed at increasing Egypt’s oil reserves and production.

“Energean is one of the foreign partners who invested in Egypt in the recent years after its acquisition of Edison’s assets worldwide”, the Minister of Petroleum and Mining Resources said. He added that the company has great potential and seeks to pump new investments to maximize the exploitation of gas resources from the Mediterranean region, which is a major center of its operations.

Mr. Rigas confirmed that Energean seeks to increase investments in natural gas development projects in the Mediterranean region. The company also focuses on implementing a plan for exploration and production activities in the deep layers using the latest technologies.

It should be noted that, in 9M 2021, Energean’s production from the Abu Qir fields averaged 4.3 million cubic metres and 4,000 barrels of oil (totaling app. 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent) per day. Production from the North Idku and North El Amriya fields is expected to commence in 2H 2022 and expected to average app. 2.2 million cubic metres and 2,000 barrels of oil (totaling app. 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent) per day.

 

ELPE, Energean withdraw from Gulf of Patras license

Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) and Energean have decided to withdraw from their Gulf of Patras license in western Greece, the two companies have informed EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company.

The Gulf of Patras area’s hydrocarbon quantity, believed to measure at least 100 million barrels, will now remain unconfirmed, following this latest development.

In January, 2020, the consortium had applied for an 18-month extension to complete second-phase work at the Gulf of Patras license. At the time, the consortium had cited insufficient port facilities for entry of the project’s drilling facility and other equipment.

The consortium would have had to conduct a first round of drilling this winter or abandon the project. It opted for the latter.

The Gulf of Patras license was originally granted to ELPE through an open-door tender launched in 2012 and completed in 2014.

Italy’s Edison was also a partner but it withdrew and was replaced by Energean.

The project area covers 1,900 square kilometers. Its estimated hydrocarbon reserves, estimated at between 100 and 140 million barrels, had the potential to offer annual turnover of roughly 200 million euros.

 

Gas network upgrade cost in north crucial for UGS sustainability

The cost of reinforcing the gas network in northern Greece, a key component to the financial sustainability of a project entailing the development of an underground natural gas storage facility (UGS) at the almost depleted natural gas field of “South Kavala” in the Aegean Sea’s north, has been discussed at an energy ministry meeting involving officials of RAE, the Regulatory Authority of Energy, gas grid operator DESFA and the privatization fund TAIPED.

Officials are seeking full clarity on the level of investments needed for the gas network in northern Greece so that natural gas can be transported to and from the prospective UGS.

According to DESFA, the country’s gas grid operator, northern Greece’s gas network now requires an upgrade as the prospect of a UGS facility was completely unanticipated when the region’s grid was initially designed and developed.

DESFA-GEK TERNA and Energean Oil & Gas have advanced to the second round of a project tender staged by TAIPED.

Energean granted 30-month extension for Ioaninna field

EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, has granted upstream company Energean a second extension, for two-and-half years, from April 3, to conduct exploration work at its onshore Ioaninna field in Greece’s northwest.

Energean had previously been given a six-month extension beyond April 3, which expired yesterday.

The upstream company, listed on the London and Tel Aviv bourses, requested further exploration time for its Ioaninna field as a result of bureaucratic delays linked to the withdrawal of former field project partner Repsol, which was the operator with a 60 percent stake, sources informed.

The extension highlights Energean’s determination to not abandon its licenses and keep exploring for possible hydrocarbon deposits, despite the unfavorable conditions and prospects for fossil fuels, company sources told energypress.