East Med pipeline to upgrade geostrategic role of participants

The EastMed Pipeline Agreement, a trilateral deal signed by the energy ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Israel in Athens yesterday with the leaders of all three countries in attendance, includes provisions for measures to protect and safeguard the pipeline project, sources have informed.

Other details in the agreement, fundamental to the region’s energy developments, include a regulatory and licensing framework facilitating the project’s development, common tax rules, as well as terms enabling the entry of new members and transmission of additional natural gas quantities from existing or new gas fields, including south of Crete, should any new deposits be discovered in the region.

The agreement upgrades the geostrategic roles of Greece and Cyprus and is a crowning achievement for the three-way cooperation established between the two countries and Israel, noted Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The 2,000-km pipeline is planned to carry between 10 to 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe via the three countries and Italy.

Addressing the heightened Turkish provocation of late, the Greek leader noted that the pipeline does not pose a threat for any side, adding regional cooperation is open for all provided rules of good neighborliness and international law are respected.

Following up on the recent commencement of production at the Leviathan gas field off the coast of Israel, the EastMed Pipeline Agreement establishes Israel as a key energy player in the region, stressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The project promises to offer major collective benefit for the three countries involved as well as the wider region, noted Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

Earlier yesterday, Greek gas utility DEPA and Energean Oil & Gas, active in the wider Mediterranean region, signed a Letter of Intent at the energy ministry through which DEPA will be able to purchase natural gas quantities from Energean, extracting at Israeli gas field licenses.

DEPA, in a company announcement, described the Letter of Intent as a major first step for the East Med project’s commercial viability.

Trilateral East Med agreement set to be signed in Athens today

The energy ministers of Greece, Cyprus and Israel are set to sign a trilateral agreement in Athens this afternoon for the development of East Med, a natural gas pipeline to carry gas to Europe via the three countries and Italy.

The pipeline, planned to measure 2,000 km and offer a capacity ranging between 10 to 20 billion cubic meters, promises to reinforce the Greek-Cypriot-Israeli alliance amid times of heightened Turkish provocation in the region.

Italian economic development minister Stefano Patuanelli, responsible for the country’s energy portfolio, has forwarded a letter of support for the project to Greek energy minister Costis Hatzidakis.

The Greek minister will sign the East Med agreement today with Giorgos Lakkotrypis and Yuval Steinitz, his Cypriot and Israeli counterparts, respectively. Italy is also expected to eventually join the partnership for this project.

Just hours before this signing ceremony, planned for 15:45, Greek gas utility DEPA and Energean Oil & Gas, active in the wider Mediterranean region, will sign a Letter of Intent at the energy ministry.

Importantly, this agreement promises to pave the way for a first commercial agreement reserving natural gas quantities ahead of the East Med pipeline’s construction, as DEPA will commit to purchasing natural gas quantities from Energean, extracting at Israeli gas field licenses. These quantities will represent approximately 20 percent of the East Med pipeline’s initial capacity.

The development prospects of East Med were recently propelled by a decision from IGI Poseidon, a 50-50 joint venture involving DEPA and Italy’s Edison, to accelerate the completion of all pending issues needed for the project’s maturity.

An upcoming East Med Gas Forum, to take place in Cairo January 15 and 16 with participation from the energy ministers of Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, should help add further dimension to the alliance.

The East Med pipeline, planned as a complementary route to other projects in the wider region, stands as the most mature component of an EU plan entailing the development of an energy corridor to connect new energy sources in the east Mediterranean with European markets, including the southeast European market.

 

DEPA, Edison firm on East Med amid Turkish provocation

Italy’s Edison, part of the Poseidon consortium formed with Greek gas utility DEPA for the development of the East Med gas pipeline – planned to transport natural gas from Israeli and Cypriot fields to the EU via Greece and Italy – has decided to accelerate pre-construction procedures following escalating provocation from Turkey, energypress has reported.

A decision was reached at a recent Poseidon meeting in Milan to assign all needed project studies, financially backed by the EU, within the next two months for swifter completion of preliminary procedures, and, by extension, the project itself, a 2,000-km pipeline.

Greece’s energy minister Costis Hatzidakis and his Israeli counterpart Yuval Steinitz reiterated their support for the project at a recent meeting.

Turkey, seeking to block the project, recently reached a maritime border agreement with Libya, which EU leaders are set to reject as invalid, insisting the pact interferes with the rights of other countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Hristodoulidis has received reassurances from Israeli government officials that the country is not involved in talks with Ankara for the development of an alternative gas pipeline, according to a Cypriot newspaper report. Israel remains committed to the East Med plan, it added.

DEPA’s Poseidon stake will be transferred to the Greek gas utility’s division for international projects. DEPA is being split ahead of its upcoming privatization.

Energean Israel signs GSPA with MRC

Energean Israel and MRC Alon Tavor Ltd. have signed a Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) for the sale of approximately 0.5Bcm/yr, or up to 8 Bcm over the term of the contract, Energean Oil and Gas, the oil and gas producer focused on the Mediterranean, has announced in a statement.

Supply will commence at Karish first gas and the contract term is for a period of 15 years from the date of signature, according to the statement. The GSPA is linked to the Israeli Electricity Production Index and has floor pricing and take-or-pay provisions, the statement added.

Energean estimates the GSPA will add revenues in excess of $1 billion over the term of the contract.

Energean also recently signed a contract amendment with OPCRotem that accelerated the rate of gas consumption and increased annual gas supply by 0.2Bcm/yr. This was accompanied by a shortening of the contract term such that there was no change in the total contract quantity of gas.

Energean now has firm GSPAs for the supply of 5.0Bcm/yr of gas into the Israeli domestic market, excluding the contingent GSPAs that have been signed with I.P.M Beer Tuvia (0.4Bcm/yr) and Or Power Energies (“Or”) (0.7Bcm/yr).

Energean submits applications to import, supply gas to Cyprus

Energean Oil & Gas, the oil and gas producer focused on the Mediterranean, has submitted applications to Cypriot authorities for import and supply of natural gas to Cyprus commencing 2021, the company has announced.

The submission of the applications follows the ‘Karish to Cyprus Preliminary Pipeline Development Plan’ that has already been presented to the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority, according to which, natural gas will be transported through pipelines from the Karish offshore block to the “Energean Power” Floating Production, Storage and Offloading unit, and from there through a pipeline to Vassiliko, Cyprus, where it will landfall.

The pipeline from the Energean Power FPSO to Vassiliko will have a total length of 215 kilometres and transport natural gas from the Karish North field, offshore Israel, which contains 25 BCM of discovered recoverable resources. Total investment will be circa $350 million and will be funded by Energean.

The Republic of Cyprus will bear no upfront cost. Provided that there will be no delays in permitting procedures, the project will allow the Republic of Cyprus to receive competitively priced natural gas from 2021.

Moreover, the project will further strengthen Cyprus’ geostrategic role in the Eastern Mediterranean, in accordance with the trilateral cooperation between Cyprus, Israel and Greece and in reference to the East Med Pipeline project that is planned to transport natural gas to Europe.

Mathios Rigas, CEO of Energean, stated:

“Energean’s proposal offers the Republic of Cyprus the option to switch to natural gas as soon as possible, and under the most competitive terms. Execution of the proposal will bring competition to the Cypriot natural gas market, decrease energy costs across the economy and result in enhanced diversity and security of supply. Our proposal enhances the planning of the Republic of Cyprus and the security of supply, as it is supplementary to the LNG import procedures launched by the Cypriot Government.

We expect that the Republic of Cyprus will take advantage of the options that the market offers for the benefit of the Cypriot economy and the consumers”.

Energean has already signed Letters of Intent (LOIs) with all three IPPs that have been granted a license to construct combined cycle power plants in Cyprus – Power Energy Cyprus, Lysarea Energia and Paramount Energy Corporation.

The Energean Power FPSO has a capacity of 8BCM per year and Energean has already signed firm GSPAs with Israeli IPPs and industrial consumers for 4.5 BCM per year for an average period of 16 years as of 2021.

 

PM decision on Crete link, wider PCI plan support needed today

Negotiations ran throughout the day until late last night as all sides involved sought to determine if an agreement is possible on the prospective Crete-Athens power grid interconnector and whether the wider Athens-Crete-Cyprus-Israel interconnection, an EU project of common interest (PCI), remains feasible under the current conditions.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis must inform the European Commission  today on whether Athens supports the wider PCI project, a stance that would incorporate the Athens-Crete segment, or pursue this segment separately as a national project.

A European Commission PCI committee is meeting today to discuss the EU’s new PCI list for the next two years.

Greek power grid operator IPTO has been embroiled in a dispute with Cypriot consortium EuroAsia Interconnector over development control of the wider project’s Crete-Athens segment. EuroAsia Interconnector heads the wider project and has been joined by Elia, Belgium’s electricity transmission system operator, in a strategic alliance.

The Cypriot side entered yesterday’s negotiations with a slightly improved offer but the Greek side still considers it insufficient for constructive talks.

The Greek government has set red lines for the Athens-Crete segment, including no further delays for ongoing tenders offering converter station contracts, which effectively means technical term revisions will not be accepted. Greek officials insist compatibility for the wider project is ensured.

Gov’t making last-ditch effort for Cypriot deal on Crete grid link

The government, determined to move ahead with the country’s grid interconnection projects in support of economic and environmental concerns, is making a final effort to establish cooperation between Greek power grid operator IPTO and Cypriot consortium EuroAsia Interconnector, at odds for development control of a grid project to link Crete with Athens.

The EuroAsia Interconnector consortium heads a wider PCI-status project to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli grids.

“We need to have made decisions by October 4. Grid Interconnections are a priority for environmental and economic reasons,” energy minister Costis Hatzidakis stressed yesterday, speaking at a conference staged by the Hellenic Entrepreneurs Association (EENE).

The government is seeking to make the most of ongoing visits to Greece by Cypriot minister of energy, commerce industry and tourism Giorgos Lakkotrypis and former foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides, now Euroasia Interconnector’s Chairman of the Strategic Council.

The Greek energy ministry has not ruled out an agreement with Euroasia Interconnector for the Crete-Athens grid link but has made clear swift development of the project is the top priority. A Greek-Cypriot-Israeli grid interconnection is still desired by the Greek government but the Cretan link is seen as even more crucial, Hatzidakis, the energy minister, is insisting, according to sources.

Euroasia Interconnector and the European Commission have requested the cancellation of a decision by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, awarding the Cretan project to Ariadne, a fully-owned IPTO subsidiary. This would delay progress.

“The only remaining prospect for cooperation would require Euroasia to provide the needed capital for a stake in Ariadne. But the Cypriot consortium appears unwilling or unable to do this,” an official deeply involved in the matter has informed.

The Cretan grid link project will be continued as a national project if current talks with the Cypriot side do not lead to any agreement, sources informed. If so, the Greek government is expected to deliver a pending reply to Brussels making clear that it does not support the entire Athens-Crete-Cyprus-Israel project.

Meanwhile, prospective bidders of a tender concerning the Crete-Athens grid interconnection project’s engineering, procurement and construction of two converter stations and a GIS substation have been given a further deadline extension. An initial August 30 deadline had been reset for September 30 before the latest extension.

Greek, Cypriot, Israeli officials seeking Italy’s East Med return

Greek, Cypriot and Israeli officials are working on details of a plan aiming to win back Rome’s support for the East Med pipeline, an ambitious 1,900-km pipeline to carry southeast Mediterranean natural gas from Israel to Europe via  Italy.

Efforts by Washington and Brussels to lure back Italy, whose coalition government has withdrawn the country’s support for the project, are pivotal.

Part of the overall diplomatic effort may be unveiled at an Athens energy summit today.

The Greek, Cypriot and Israeli energy ministers, Costis Hatzidakis, Giorgos Lakkotrypis and Yuval Steinitz, respectively, as well as US Assistant Secretary Francis Fannon, are taking part in the summit.

Fannon held successive meetings in Athens yesterday with Greece’s energy minister and the deputy foreign minister Konstantinos Fragogiannis. The East Med project’s promotion was a key subject of these meetings, especially Fannon’s talks with Hatzidakis, Greece’s energy minister.

Last May, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, heading Italy’s right-wing populist coalition, declared Rome does not want the East Med pipeline to land on Italian territory. Instead, he proposed the pipeline’s link to TAP, another gas pipeline project being developed to carry Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe, via Italy.

East Med is envisioned to primarily carry deposits from Cyprus’ recently discovered “Aphrodite” gas field and the Israeli-controlled block “Leviathan” along a route stretching from Israel to Europe, also via Italy.

In response to Italy’s stance, Israel now appears to favor an alternate route for East Med that would avoid ending up on the Italian coast. Experts regard this prospect as difficult but not impossible as the pipeline project is still at the planning stage. Greece and Cyprus prefer Italy’s incorporation into the pipeline route.

 

 

New effort for East Med agreement at Athens energy summit

Greek gas utility DEPA and Italian energy giant Edison, collaborating on a plan to develop the East Med pipeline, envisioned to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli natural gas systems, are looking to take a crucial technical step ahead of construction.

Their YAFA Poseidon joint venture – spearheading the ambitious project, a 1,900-km pipeline stretch with an investment cost of between 6 and 7 billion euros – is gearing up for the launch of FEED (Front-End Engineering Design), environmental and detailed underwater research studies.

The European Commission has approved 34.5 million euros from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), a funding instrument, for these studies. The CEF amount will cover half the cost of the aforementioned preliminary studies, which will push the plan ahead to a mature stage.

The pipeline project is planned to carry southeast Mediterranean natural gas, primarily deposits from Cyprus’ recently discovered “Aphrodite” gas field and the Israeli-controlled block “Leviathan”, along a route stretching from Israel to Europe.

An agreement between Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Italy, where the pipeline is planned to conclude, is still needed.

East Med plans have been at a standstill ever since the current Italian government announced it was stalling the project.

According to sources, the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli energy ministers will seek to restart procedures and also send out a message of encouragement to the Italian government when they meet at an Athens energy summit tomorrow. US Assistant Secretary Francis Fannon will also participate.

East Med, still at a theoretical stage, promises geostrategic might for Greece, Cyprus and Israel, as well as the USA, on southeast Mediterranean energy matters, especially against Turkey’s opposition to hydrocarbon exploration within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The pipeline plan also promises to break Russia’s dominance of gas supply to the EU.

 

 

Greek-Cypriot-Israeli energy summit highlights US interest

Washington’s supportive interest in the energy partnership between Greece, Cyprus and Israel has grown, driven by the prospect of hydrocarbon exploration in the southeast Mediterranean region as well as the East Med natural gas pipeline, planned to carry Cypriot, Israeli and, possibly, Egyptian natural gas to the EU via Greece and Italy.

Highlighting this interest, an upcoming Athens energy summit, scheduled to take place on August 6 and 7, comes as a US initiative, energypress sources informed.

It will follow a meeting just days ago, at the East Med Gas Forum in Egypt, that brought together Greek energy minister Costis Hatzidakis with his Cypriot and Israeli peers, Giorgos Lakkotrypis and Yuval Steinitz, respectively. In addition, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis recently met with Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.

US Assistant Secretary Francis Fannon, head of the Bureau of Energy Sources, will also take part in the Athens energy summit. Fannon is scheduled to meet with Hatzidakis, Greece’s energy minister, and the country’s deputy foreign minister Konstantinos Fragogiannis on the eve of the event.

The summit highlights the US-fostered partnership between Greece, Cyprus and Israel, united against escalating Turkish tension concerning offshore hydrocarbon exploration plans within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The event’s participants are also expected to discuss the East Med pipeline. An agreement between the three countries and Italy remains pending. Last spring, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte claimed he sees no benefits for Italy in the project, effectively bringing the country’s effort in the matter to a standstill.

Washington openly supports this natural gas pipeline as it promises to establish an alternative supply route to Europe that would restrict Moscow’s energy dominance on the continent, through Gazprom.

Sideline efforts are being made to alter Italy’s negative stance, sources informed. A message could be projected to Rome through the imminent Athens event.

Crete grid link urgent, minister stresses at Cyprus meeting

Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests heading a PCI-status grid interconnection to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli systems, is prepared to collaborate with Greek authorities for the development of the project’s Greek segment, to connect Crete with Athens, as long as Greece accepts a related road map set by the European Commission last October, sources have informed.

Essentially, this can be interpreted as a Cypriot demand for Greece to accept the project’s technical specifications that were rejected by Greek power grid operator IPTO and the previous Syriza government.

Last year’s road map includes all the technical, financial and interconnection details concerning the project’s three segments, linking Athens with Crete, Crete with Cyprus and Cyprus with Israel. Absolute compatibility is essential.

Greek energy minister Costis Hatzidakis, who met yesterday with Euroasia Interconnector’s top officials, emphasized the importance being placed by the newly elected conservative New Democracy government on the project’s swift development.

Fast progress will serve as the main criterion when determining action to be taken, Hatzidakis stressed at the meeting, in Nicosia, adding that, if possible, the support of EU funds would be a bonus. PCI projects are entitled to EU support funds.

IPTO and Euroasia Interconnector have been at odds for control over the development of the project’s Crete-Athens segment. It is needed urgently to prevent a looming energy shortage on Crete as of next year, when old units still operating on the island will need to be withdrawn to align the country with EU environmental policies.

Continuation of energy strategy minister’s guide at Cairo forum

Recently appointed energy minister Costis Hatzidakis will formally commence work on promoting Greece’s international energy relations at his first meetings abroad, today and tomorrow, at the East Med Gas Forum in Cairo.

The minister, in recent speeches, has already made clear his interest in supporting a national strategy shaped to bolster the country’s energy security, elevate its geopolitical role and fuel economic growth.

Strategic partnerships with Cyprus, the USA, Israel and Egypt will play a pivotal role in this effort.

Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority will all be represented at the Cairo forum.

Hatzidakis, Greece’s energy minister, is also expected to discuss energy partnerships and regional security with US energy secretary Rick Perry, who is in the Egyptian capital as part of a tour of the east Mediterranean.

Development of the submarine East Med gas pipeline, a project promising security and stability for the wider region, is a leading priority  for Greece.

On a wider level, the minister can be expected to carry on supporting a national strategy pursued over the past decade to establish Greece as a pivotal energy player in the region and key problem solver of regional energy partnership issues.

As for other major energy infrastructure projects, the new Greek government will continue to provide national support for the swift completion of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), planned to transport Caspian natural gas to Europe, and the Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas grid interconnector. Other investment plans such as the Alexandroupoli FSRU and the Kavala underground gas storage facility will also keep receiving the support of Greece’s administration.

Energean signs deal with INGL for partial infrastructure transfer

Energean Oil and Gas, a London Premium Listed FTSE 250 and Tel Aviv Listed E&P company with operations offshore Israel, has signed a Detailed Agreement with Israel Natural Gas Lines (INGL) for the handover of the near shore and onshore part of the infrastructure that will deliver gas from the Karish and Tanin FPSO into the Israeli national gas transmission grid. An MOU with INGL was signed in December 2018, Energean has announced in a statement.

As consideration, INGL will pay Energean 369 million Israeli New Shekels, approximately US$102 million, which will be paid in accordance with milestones detailed in the agreement.

The agreement covers the onshore section of the Karish and Tanin infrastructure and the near shore section of pipeline extending to approximately 10km offshore. It is intended that the handover to INGL will become effective shortly after the delivery of first gas from the Karish field in 1Q 2021.

Following handover, INGL will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of this part of the infrastructure. Energean will not incur any charges or tariffs for use of this infrastructure.

Mathios Rigas, CEO of Energean Oil & Gas, commented:

“The agreement signed with INGL is an important milestone for the Karish and Tanin development, which will start flowing natural gas to the Israeli market in 1Q 2021. This demonstrates the commitment of the Israeli government to the project, and to long-term development of gas resources offshore Israel. The infrastructure being built by Energean will enable connection of future gas discoveries to the system, further contributing to Israel’s energy security and diversity of supply. We thank INGL management and professional team for the collaboration – we look forward to developing more projects together in the future”.

Greek PCI support for Eurosia conditional, minister suggests

Greece’s decision to proceed with the development of the Crete-Athens electricity grid interconnection as a national project through power grid operator IPTO’s special purpose vehicle Ariadne rather than as part of a wider Euroasia Interconnector project planned to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli grids has cast doubts over the future PCI status of Euroasia’s Crete-Cyprus and Cyprus-Israel segments.

Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests heading the wider project, will need the support of all parties involved if the Crete-Cyprus and Cyprus-Israel segments are to secure a place in the EU’s new PCI list, enabling favorable funding, when the updated list is published later this year, in autumn.

Though Greece’s energy ministry has yet to make its intentions clear, it faces pressure, especially from Cyprus, to support the continued PCI-status of the Crete-Cyprus and Cyprus-Israel segments as their development would end Cyprus’ electricity grid isolation.

Greece’s stance will most likely depend on Euroasia Interconnector’s moves and whether it will seek to obstruct the development of the Crete-Athens interconnection through legal procedures and other action.

Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis has suggested Greece’s support for the wider project’s PCI status would be conditional.

IPTO recently decided to remove the Crete-Athens segment from the wider Greece-Cyprus-Israel interconnection project as the operator was embroiled in a dispute with the Cypriot consortium over the local segment’s control.

Three-way summit to support ambitious East Med project

The leaders of Greece, Cyprus and Israel are expected to unite for a joint statement in support of the East Med natural gas pipeline’s development as well as the reinforcement of regional energy security at a summit in Jerusalem this Wednesday, where they will be joined by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The anticipated declaration by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his respective Cypriot and Israeli counterparts, Nicos Anastasiades and Benjamin Netanhyahu, will represent yet another step towards the development of East Med, promising a transportation route for regional natural gas to  EU markets.

Pompeo’s presence at the forthcoming three-way summit, combined with ExxonMobil’s recently declared intention to take part in a new round of Israeli tenders offering licenses, make clear Washington’s determination for a leading role in the Mediterranean.

Discoveries of major natural gas fields in the region and plans for EU-bound transportation routes have increased US interest.

However, many obstacles still lie ahead for the East Med pipeline. These include Italy’s step back as a result of objections expressed by Italy’s Five Star Movement, a member of the country’s far-right coalition. Italy’s environmental ministry has ordered a new environmental impact study for Italy’s Otranto seaside location, where East Med is planned to reach.

Greece, Cyprus and Israel now appear to be examining alternative East Med routes towards Europe, the most favorable option being North Macedonia.

Though Egypt expressed support for East Med last week, Cairo plans to utilize the country’s LNG terminals with the aim of exporting gas in liquefied form. This infrastructure would have an advantage over East Med.

East Med’s commercial feasibility is another concern. Quantities and customers still need to be assured.

 

 

East Med pipeline prospects bolstered by Egyptian support

Egypt’s constructive participation in talks for the development of the East Med natural gas pipeline, planned to carry Cypriot, Israeli and, possibly, Egyptian natural gas to the EU via Greece and Italy, has created favorable prospects for the realization of a project promising to play a pivotal role on the southeast Mediterranean energy map.

US support for the project and an effort by participating countries to ensure ExxonMobil’s involvement are also bolstering the East Med’s development prospects.

Last month, Egypt’s petroleum minister Tarek El-Molla had told Cyprus News Agency his country is not interested in participating in the East Med project with its Zohr natural gas deposit.

However, the Egyptian minister changed his tune yesterday at Ceraweek 2019, an international energy in Houston, Texas, noting Egypt will support the East Med project.

Quite clearly, Egypt is looking to establish yet another alternative supply route for its Zohr field, an enormous natural gas discovery, to major consumer markets of the west.

Prior to expressing support for East Med, El-Molla took part in a meeting with his Greek, Israeli and Cypriot counterparts – Giorgos Stathakis, Yuval Steinitz and Giorgos Lakkotrypis, respectively – and US energy under secretary Mark Menezes, at the Houston event.

All four officials confirmed their support for the East Med gas pipeline, according to a statement released by Greece’s energy ministry.

Stathakis, Greece’s energy minister, also held a separate meeting yesterday with ExxonMobil officials for talks on developments concerning the oil major’s hydrocarbon exploration interests at offshore blocks west and southwest of Crete – through a consortium established with Total and ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) – and the East Med project, energypress sources informed.

 

Greek-Cypriot-Israeli deal for East Med pipeline likely this month

A three-way agreement between Greece, Cyprus and Israel for the development of the East Med natural gas pipeline, planned to carry Cypriot and Israeli natural gas to the EU via Greece and Italy, appears increasingly likely to be signed by the leaders of the three countries at a Tel Aviv summit scheduled for March 20.

A draft of the planned agreement is currently being fine-tuned in Brussels.

Despite the emergence of a growing number of reports contending an agreement is near, objections expressed by Italy’s Five Star Movement, a member of the country’s far-right coalition, could turn into a problem for the East Med pipeline plan.

Italy’s environmental ministry has ordered a new environmental impact study for Italy’s Otranto seaside location, where East Med is planned to reach. Incidentally, the TAP project to carry gas from Azerbaijan to the EU is also planned to reach this spot. The Five Star Movement has also raised environmental concerns over this project.

Lebanon is another country in the region opposing East Med as a result of its ongoing EEZ dispute with Israel. Turkey, not on good terms with Israel and unsettled by the evolving Israeli-Cypriot cooperation, also opposes the project. Cyprus is continuing its hydrocarbon exploration activities, adding to Turkey’s concerns.

Meanwhile, Greek energy minister Giorgos Stathakis arrived in Houston, Texas yesterday to take part in Ceraweek 2019, an international energy conference running until Friday.

Stathakis is scheduled to take part in a panel discussion tomorrow on east Mediterranean developments following recent natural gas discoveries by Cyprus and Israel. His Cypriot, Israeli and Egyptian counterparts will also join this panel.

Sideline talks, by these officials, on regional energy matters are expected.

Energean signs extra Karish and Tanin sale, purchase deals

Energean Oil and Gas has signed a Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with I.P.M. Beer Tuvia Ltd. (IPM) to supply an estimated 5.5 BCM of gas from its Karish and Tanin FPSO over a period of 19 years.

The contract is subject to necessary approvals and is contingent on results of the 2019 drilling program, which includes the drilling of four wells in Israel and commences with the spud of Karish North in March 2019, targeting 36.8 BCM (1.3 Tcf) of gas with a volume weighted geological chance of success of 69%.

The agreement adds between 0.265 and 0.38 BCM/yr of gas sales, commencing in approximately 2024. Energean estimates that the agreement will contribute revenues of approximately $0.9 billion over the life of the contract. Energean may supply IPM with limited volumes between 2021 and 2024.

IPM holds an option to increase volumes up to 0.55 BCM/yr.

Energean has now signed GSPAs for 4.6 BCM/yr from its Karish and Tanin FPSO, which is being built with a total capacity of 8 BCM/yr. Energean targets filling the remaining 3.4 BCM/yr of FPSO spare capacity in the medium term, which it believes will deliver attractive incremental economics.

IPM is an independent power producer that will supply the national power grid and large private consumers with power. IPM is building a new power plant that is due to start operating in 2H 2020, and gas purchased from Energean will provide part of the total quantity of gas required for its operations. The remaining gas supply will be purchased in accordance with IPM’s existing Gas Agreements.

The Karish and Tanin development remains on track for first gas in 1Q 2021.

“This additional Gas Sales Agreement aligns with Energean’s strategy to secure offtake for the remaining spare capacity in our 8 BCM/yr FPSO and to commercialize the resource being targeted by our upcoming drilling program, providing competition and energy security to the Israeli domestic market,” noted Mathios Rigas, CEO of Energean Oil & Gas. “The signing of this contract ahead of results from our 2019 drilling program demonstrates not only the attractiveness of the Karish and Tanin fields but the strong incremental demand that we have identified for our gas and we will continue to target additional sales. Our future sales contracts will target both the growing domestic and regional export markets, delivering attractive incremental economics for all of our stakeholders.”

 

 

Energean set for 20-year output high of 1.5m barrels in 2018, new drilling

Officials at Energean Oil & Gas, nowadays a publically traded company following last March’s listing on the London Stock Exchange’s main market, avoided disclosing too much information at a company presentation yesterday but confirmed the achievement of a 20-year production high of 1.5 million barrels for 2018, at a production rate of nearly 4,100 bpd.

Half this amount – 2,000 bpd – was provided by the company’s Prinos North oil field, which began producing last February following horizontal drilling.

Company officials also noted a new drilling effort will be staged at the Epsilon oil field, located in the Gulf of Kavala, northern Greece. Output here will signal Greece’s first point of utilization and oil production since the Prinos and Prinos North fields.

Energean’s detailed new production guidelines are expected to be announced by the board in January.

Beyond Greece, Energean, a leading independent E&P company focused on the Eastern Mediterranean region, plans to commence 3D seismic surveys at a section of offshore licenses held in Israel as well as at two offshore licenses in Montenegro.

In March, Energean plans to drill at its Karish North license in Israel, aiming to discover 34 billion cubic meters of natural gas. This drill has been given an almost 70 percent chance of succeeding.

Last November, Energean began constructing a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit to be installed in the east Mediterranean region. It will offer an annual production capacity of 8 billion cubic meters.

Energean’s listing on the London Stock Exchange was the biggest IPO by a petroleum firm in the past four years and the sole entry in 2018. Energean’s share has since been one of the best FTSE 250 performers, rising 35 percent.

Just under two months ago, Energean was also listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) secondary list.

 

 

Three-way East Med gas pipeline deal reached, US keen

The leaders of Greece, Cyprus and Israel have reached an agreement to develop the East Med natural gas pipeline, planned to carry enormous southeast Mediterranean natural gas deposits to the EU via Greece. They met today at the Israeli city Beersheba for a fifth summit on the issue.

The project’s development plan still needs to be endorsed by the European Commission before a final agreement is signed by the three countries. This is expected in the the first quarter of 2019.

The European Commission has already received the project’s details and is expected to offer its approval early in 2019.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, joined by energy minister Giorgos Stathakis for the Israel trip, and the respective leaders of Cyprus and Israel, Nicos Anastasiades and Benjamin Netanyahu, are scheduled to sign related memorandums later in the day.

In the lead-up to today’s session, diplomats had described the meeting as one of the last pre-construction steps for the East Med project.

A disputed electricity grid interconnection project involving the three countries has not been included on today’s agenda. Greek authorities awarded Ariadne Interconnector, an SPV established by Greek power grid operator IPTO, control of the Greek-Cypriot-Israeli project’s Crete-Athens segment, despite European Commission objections.

Brussels favors Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests heading the wider Greek-Cypriot-Israeli project, for control of its Crete-Athens segment.

The East Med natural gas pipeline, whose cost has been estimated at 7 billion dollars, promises to be the world’s biggest submarine pipeline – in terms of length and depth.

The US has showed increased support for the project in recent times. US involvement in the project has not been excluded.

An annual gas transmission objective of 20 bcm has been set for East Med. EU natural gas needs have been forecast to reach 100 bcm in 2030.

RAE to reiterate Crete project link commitments to all parties involved

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, intends to reiterate and seek reconfirmation of commitments taken on by all parties involved in the delayed Crete-Athens grid interconnection’s development via a letter to be forwarded to all, sources have informed. The move is seen as a counterattack following criticism by Brussels officials.

Besides Euroasia Interconnector – a consortium of Cypriot interests heading a wider PCI-status project planned to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli power grids – Greece’s power grid operator IPTO and its Cypriot counterpart, RAE will also forward copies of the letter to the European Commission and Greece’s energy ministry, for their information.

A dispute between IPTO and Euroasia Interconnector for control over the wider project’s Greek segment has prompted delays.

According to sources, Euroasia Interconnector and the Cypriot power grid operator, in a letter to RAE, recently named their representatives for a committee being assembled to work on ensuring the technical compatibility of the Greek section with the overall grid interconnection project’s Crete-Cyprus and Cyprus-Israel segments. RAE intends to soon name the committee’s Greek representatives, sources informed.

RAE, in its letter, will also highlight the need for the local interconnection project’s swift progress so as to prevent an energy shortage threat on Crete as of 2020 due to EU-required closures of outdated diesel-fired power stations still operating on the island.

Euroasia Interconnector has been granted a deadline extension until the end of the year to present capital needed for its participation in Ariadne, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) established by IPTO for the project’s Greek segment, RAE is expected to remind in its letter.

RAE’s overall handling of the matter does not contravene EU regulations or threaten the project’s PCI status, the authority contends.

 

Energean’s 2019 Israel drilling to target 2.3 Tcf in resources

Energean Oil and Gas, the London Premium Listed FTSE 250 and Tel Aviv Listed E&P company with operations offshore Israel, Greece and the Adriatic, has issued a Trading Update for the period from July 1 to November 13, 2018. The Group will publish a Trading Statement and Operational Update on January 16, 2019, while full-year results for 2018 will be announced on March 21, 2019, it has announced.

Highlights

  • On track to deliver first gas from the 2.4 Tcf Karish – Tanin development in 1Q 2021.
  • Scheduled first steel cut on the Karish – Tanin FPSO for 26 November 2018.
  • Targeting 2.3 Tcf gas and 31 million barrels liquids gross prospective resources with a high probability of success through the 2019 Israeli drilling programme.
  • Aiming to fill the 3.8 BCM per annum (‘bcma’)[1] of FPSO spare capacity in the medium term. Identified strong incremental demand for gas with future sales contracts targeting growing domestic and regional export markets.
  • Expecting first oil from the Epsilon extended reach well in late 2018 and achieved first steel cut on the Epsilon jacket on 26 September.
  • Started trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (“TASE”) on 29 October and expecting to enter the TA-90, TA-125 and TA-Oil & Gas Indices.
  • Strengthened the senior management team with the appointment of Iman Hill as Chief Operating Officer.
  • Well-funded for all development projects. At 30 September 2018 the group had gross cash of $289 million (net cash $160 million), plus liquidity of $68 million under its RBL and $1,275 million under its project finance facility.

Mathios Rigas, CEO of Energean said:

“Our developments are on schedule and we have an active programme of drilling in both Israel and Greece in the months ahead, targeting significant increases in prospective resources and production.

We are seeing strong incremental demand for our gas and aim to prove up enough resources to fill the 3.8 bcma of spare capacity in our 8 bcma FPSO. Future gas sales agreements will focus on both further contributing to security and diversity of supply in the Israeli markets as well as targeting key regional export markets.”

Operational Update

Israel – Karish and Tanin Development

Energean’s Karish and Tanin development remains on track to deliver first gas into the Israeli domestic market in 1Q 2021. The next visible milestone will be first steel cut on the FPSO hull on 26 November 2018.

Karish development drilling will immediately follow the Karish North well. Three development wells will target Karish Main with completion expected by 2019 year end. These three wells will deliver 4.2 bcma (c. 406 mmcfd) of firm gas sales into the Israeli domestic market from 1Q 2021. Gross production capability of the three wells is expected to be far in excess of the 4.2 bcma requirement.

The subsea workstream, managed and executed by TechnipFMC under the $1.36 billion lump sum turnkey EPCIC contract signed earlier this year, is progressing in line with expectations.

Energean has recently awarded a second contract to Wood. The latest contract, effective immediately, is to provide operations and maintenance manpower and specialist engineering services over the next five years. This follows an earlier two-year contract, awarded in April 2018, which involves the preparation of systems and procedures to ensure safety and efficiency in all aspects of the pre-operation period.

Israel – Exploration

Energean sees strong incremental demand for its gas and future gas sales contracts will target both the growing domestic and key regional export markets. Over the medium term, Energean aims to prove up enough resource to fill the remaining 3.8 bcma of spare capacity[2] in its 8 bcma FPSO and fulfil this additional demand.

The Company’s 2019 drilling programme will target 2.3 Tcf of gross prospective gas resources and is well aligned with its exploration strategy to target resources that can be quickly, economically and safely monetised.

Planning for Karish North is currently being concluded. Spud is expected in March 2019 and drilling is forecast to take 45 days. Karish North will directly target 1.3 Tcf of gas and 16 million barrels of liquids (gross) with a volume weighted geological chance of success of 69%4.

Energean is of the view that success at Karish North could have a positive read-across to Karish East; technical analysis indicates that the fault between Karish North and Karish East does not form a barrier and, therefore, does not limit the extent or flow of any hydrocarbons. Karish East contains gross prospective resources of 0.5 Tcf of gas and 7.5 million barrels of liquids with a volume weighted geological probability of success of 70%. Karish North will also provide important read-across information for the Karish Main structure.

The exploration component of the Karish Main wells consists of drilling into the deeper D sand horizons, which have been proven in the Tamar field (upper D sands) and Aphrodite (lower D sands) discovery. Energean believes that Karish Main drilling offers additional upside beyond that reflected in NSAI independent estimates.

Greece proposes corresponding Cypriot SPV for needed grid link

Energy minister Giorgos Stathakis, responding to a Cypriot appeal for Greece to not stand as an obstacle in the island nation’s effort to end its energy isolation, has proposed that Cyprus establish an SPV of its own for swifter development of the Crete-Cyprus segment of a wider interconnection plan aiming to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli grids.

Despite European Commission objections, RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, has remained adamant about its decision to place an SPV named Ariadne, a Greek power grid operator IPTO subsidiary, at the helm of the Crete-Athens segment’s development.

IPTO and Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests heading the wider Greek, Cypriot and Israeli PCI-status interconnection plan, have fought for control over the Crete-Athens segment, creating a Greek-Cypriot dispute.

Cyprus fears the Greek-Cypriot-Israeli interconnection plan could be brought to the ground by the dispute, which would end the island nation’s aspirations for an electricity market interconnection with Greece and, by extension, other European energy markets.

Stathakis, Greece’s energy minister, contends the Greek SPV does not breach any regulations or agreements as all parties involved have already agreed on IPTO holding a stake of at least 51 percent in the company to develop the Athens-Crete link.

He supports that a corresponding Cypriot SPV controlling the Crete-Cyprus segment would lead to swifter progress for both the Crete-Cyprus and Crete-Athens segments of the wider project and end the island nation’s energy isolation.

 

 

Energean shares begin trading on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

The shares of independent oil and gas exploration and production company Energean Oil and Gas have begun trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) secondary list, the group has announced in a statement.

Energean is the first London-listed, international oil and gas operator to list shares on the Tel Aviv bourse, following the largest E&P IPO in London since 2014.

Delivery of Energean’s highly attractive, flagship Karish and Tanin gas development, offshore Israel, remains on track for first gas in 1Q 2021 providing energy security and supplying gas to the Israeli domestic market.

Energean is currently at the start of an active 18-month period including first steel cut for Energean’s FPSO, the only FPSO in the East Mediterranean, scheduled for 26 November 2018, and drilling of the high potential Karish North well to commence in March 2019, with the potential to de-risk up to 1.8 TCF of resources across Karish North and Karish East.

In addition, during this 18-month period, Energean will continue to de-risk its wider Israeli portfolio which has 7.5 Tcf of gross prospective resources across the Karish and Tanin leases and Blocks (12, 21, 22, 23 and 31) and pursue future gas sales contracts, to target both the growing Israeli domestic market and key export markets in the region, with a view to delivering value to all stakeholders. Energean is also focusing on an ongoing investment and development program to increase production from its Prinos and Prinos North oil fields and to develop the Epsilon oil field, located in the Gulf of Kavala, northern Greece.

Energean has also reported a significant further upside from its diverse eastern Mediterranean portfolio including exploration and appraisal opportunities in Israel, Greece and Montenegro.

Mathios Rigas, Chief Executive, Energean Oil & Gas commented:

“There is strong momentum at Energean as we prepare to begin our active Israeli work program to deliver our flagship Israel gas project which will not only deliver significant shareholder value but provide competition and energy security to the Israeli domestic market. Alongside this in Greece we continue to focus on growing our low cost production.

“As such, we are delighted to be the first UK listed international oil and gas operator to list its shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, fulfilling our commitment that we made to shareholders at the time of our IPO, improving the breadth and depth of the Company shareholder base.

“Israel is a core component of our portfolio and we are on track to start producing gas from the only FPSO in the Eastern Mediterranean in 1Q 2021 providing competition and energy security to the Israeli domestic market, so it is only natural that we expand the accessibility of our company to the Israeli market.”

Mr. Yuval Steinitz, Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, who attended the opening ceremony, remarked:

“Having Energean in the Israeli Stock Exchange is an important development. It is a positive message to the stock market, but mostly a positive message to the developing energy market of the country, a message that shows that Israel is emerging as a player in the global energy market”.

On track for first gas in 1Q 2021

Energean’s secondary listing precedes an operationally active 2019 as it continues to progress its flagship gas development on track for 1Q 2021 and the wider Israeli portfolio which has 7.5 Tcf* of gross prospective resources across the Karish and Tanin leases and Blocks (12, 21, 22, 23 and 31) that were awarded as part of the recent offshore licencing round.

Energean will kick off its 2019 campaign with the drilling of the high potential Karish North well in March which has the potential to de-risk more than 1.8 Tcf** of resources across Karish North and Karish East and is in line with the company’s strategy to target near field prospects where potential discoveries can be quickly, economically and safely monetised through its offshore FPSO.

Following Karish North, the Stena DrillMAX will drill three development wells into the Karish Main structure. These three wells will be the producers that deliver 4.2 bcma of gas sales into the Israeli domestic market from 1Q 2021.

Energean is building its FPSO with a production and processing capacity of 8 bcma and first steel cut is planned for 26 November 2018. Current gas sales contracts, which account for all of its existing discovered resource, underpin the 4.2 bcma of firm contracts signed to date, leaving 3.8 bcma of spare capacity for the tie-back of additional discoveries.

Future gas sales contracts will target both the growing Israeli domestic market and key export markets in the region, with a view to delivering value to all stakeholders.

Energean has a strong environmental track record and working successfully with local communities, The company has over 37 years’ experience of working safely in environmentally sensitive locations in NE Greece and is focused on transferring this safety and success to all areas where it is present. As the first operator of a FPSO in the eastern Mediterranean, Energean is committed to the safe production of hydrocarbons in Israel as well as being focused on leaving as little environmental footprint as possible.

 

 

Energean announces timing of Secondary Listing on Tel Aviv bourse

Energean Oil and Gas, a London Premium Listed independent FTSE250 E&P company with operations offshore Israel, Greece and the Adriatic, expects the process for its Secondary Listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to be completed on 29 October 2018, the company has announced in a statement.

Energean, whose portfolio carries 349 mmboe of 2P reserves and 48 mmboe of 2C resources, expects to become a constituent of the TA-90 and TA-Oil and Gas Indices.

The TA-90 is composed of the 90 most highly capitalized companies listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that are not included in the TA-35 Index. Energean maintains its Primary Listing on the Premium Listing Segment of the Official List of the FCA and its shares will continue to trade on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. Shares will be fully transferrable and fungible between the two markets. Energean is not issuing any new shares in connection with the Secondary Listing.

Energean is pursuing the Secondary Listing in order to further expand the accessibility of its Oil & Gas growth story to a wider pool of investors; improve the breadth and depth of the company shareholder base, ultimately improving the liquidity and tradability of the shares; and fulfil the commitment the Company made at IPO to pursue a secondary listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Mathios Rigas, Chief Executive, Energean Oil & Gas commented: “Israel is a core component of our portfolio and we are on track to start producing gas from the only FPSO in the Eastern Mediterranean in 1Q 2021. We have already secured contracts to supply 4.2 bcma of gas into the growing Israeli domestic market, contributing diversity and security of supply. Looking ahead, our future gas sales agreements will target both domestic and key export markets in the region. Our Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Listing fulfils a further commitment that we made to shareholders at the time of our London Stock Exchange IPO and I am pleased to further expand the accessibility of our company to a wider pool of investors.”

In August, 2017, Energean Oil & Gas received Israeli Governmental approval for the FDP for its flagship Karish-Tanin gas development project, where it intends to use an FPSO and produce first gas in 2021. Energean has already signed firm contracts for 4.2 bcma of gas sales into the Israeli domestic market. Future gas sales agreements will focus on both the growing Israeli domestic market and key export markets in the region.

In Greece, the company is pursuing an ongoing investment and development program to increase production from its Prinos and Prinos North oil fields and to develop the Epsilon oil field, located in the Gulf of Kavala, northern Greece.

ACER complaint on Crete-Athens link backs Brussels, project in limbo

Just days after objections were raised by the European Commission, ACER, Europe’s Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, has also expressed its disapproval of a decision by RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, giving power grid operator IPTO permission to establish a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for financing and development control of Crete’s urgently needed major-scale electricity grid interconnection with Athens.

ACER, which made clear its discontent – and astonishment – in a letter forwarded to RAE, described the authority’s initiative as a “unilateral move”, energypress sources informed. RAE has yet to respond.

The Crete-Athens interconnection project’s future now appears to be in limbo as this second intervention by a European institution adds further weight to the European Commission’s insinuation that the link would cease to enjoy PCI status and subsequent EU backing if the RAE decision is upheld.

Brussels reacted to the RAE move by noting the authority cannot award Crete’s major-scale interconnection with Athens to any party until the end of the year, the time period given to Euroasia Interconnector – a consortium of Cypriot interests responsible for a wider project planned to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli power grids – to decide if it will utilize a right offered for a 39 percent stake, or less, in the venture to develop the Crete-Athens link.

Compatibility concerns have already been raised about four transformers to be installed in the wider Athens area, Crete, Cyprus and Israel for the Euroasia Interconnector.

Also, Cypriot officials, in comments to energypress, cited the emergence of a national issue as Cyprus now finds itself detached from the EU – regarding the project – as a result of the RAE move at a time when the island’s Turkish-occupied northeast is seeking a power grid interconnection with Turkey.

 

 

 

Energean gas resources in Israel 40 times the size of annual Greek needs

The 212 billion cubic meters (bcm) of recoverable prospective natural gas resources included in an updated Competent Persons Report (CPR) by petroleum industry consulting firm Netherland Sewell & Associates (NSAI) for the Israeli portfolio of Energean Oil and Gas, the independent oil and gas exploration and production company focused on the eastern Mediterranean, would cover demand in a country with the consumption patterns of Greece for about 40 years.

Annual natural gas demand in Greece ranges between 5 and 6 billion bcm, roughly forty times less the figure reported by NSAI, an independent consulting firm.

Of the 212 bcm, 86 bcm are located in the Karish and Tanin fields being exploited by Energean in Israel, while the other 126 bcm have been identified at five new blocks, numbered 12, 21, 22, 23 and 31, whose rights were acquired by the energy company last December.

The NSAI report’s findings essentially bolster Energean’s potential to export from its Israeli fields to other markets. Possible export destinations will depend on geopolitical developments and outcomes of various regional pipeline development plans being negotiated in recent years.

A portion of Energean’s offshore Israel natural gas resources could be exported to Cyprus, for example, if a 200-km pipeline plan linking the two countries is developed. A portion of these resources could also be exported to Greece should the ambitious East Med pipeline plan proceed.

A Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) facility being constructed for the development of the Karish field is planned to have an annual natural gas production capacity of 8 bcm.

Also, Energean Israel, an Energean subsidiary holding a 70 percent stake of the aforementioned Israeli fields, has already signed a sale agreement for 4.2 bcm of annual supply to the Israeli market of natural gas reserves already discovered. Given the FPSO’s capacity, a further 4 bcm could be exported.

Energean recently announced a decision to go ahead with exploratory drilling at Karish North. According to an NSAI estimate, this area holds 38 bcm of natural gas resources and 16.4 million barrels of liquid hydrocarbons resources.

 

Energean’s Israeli reserves, resources increase significantly

An updated Competent Persons Report (CPR) for the Israeli portfolio of Energean Oil and Gas, the independent oil and gas exploration and production company focused on the eastern Mediterranean, includes the certification of 63 bcm (2.2 Tcf) of 2P reserves and 7.5 Tcf of gross prospective resources and is the first assessment of prospective resources in the new Blocks (12, 21, 22, 23 and 31) that were awarded as part of the recent offshore licencing round, Energean has just announced in a statement.

The oil and gas firm’s updated CPR was provided by petroleum industry consulting firm Netherland Sewell & Associates.

Mathios Rigas, CEO of Energean Oil & Gas, commented: “We are pleased that our independent reserves auditors have identified 7.5 Tcf of prospective resource across our Israeli acreage with a very high probability of geological success, across which we have limited exploration capital commitments.  The outcome is consistent with Energean’s view that our portfolio contains multiple attractive near-field exploration opportunities that could deliver significant upside alongside our existing Karish and Tanin development. The conversion of contingent resources demonstrates our commitment to increasing reserves and underpins a more-than-six times increase in our independently verified 2P reserves at IPO.”

The updated CPR includes 63 bcm (2.2 Tcf) of gas and 31.8 million barrels of liquids (gross, Energean 70%) of 2P reserves in the Karish and Tanin fields. Energean’s independently certified net 2P reserves are now 349 mmboe, an increase from the 51 mmboe estimated when Energean undertook its London Stock Exchange listing in March 2018.

Contingent resources in the Karish field of 5.4 bcm (0.2 Tcf) of gas and 1.0 million barrels of liquids (Gross, Energean 70%) are recognized. Remaining contingent resource relates to the Karish B reservoir.

Overall 2P reserves plus contingent resources across the Karish and Tanin leases remain the same.

The updated CPR also recognises gross recoverable prospective resources of 212 bcm (7.5 Tcf) of gas and 101 million barrels of liquids (Energean 70%), consistent with Energean’s view that its acreage contains an attractive number of near-field prospects where potential discoveries can be quickly and economically monetised. The Karish FPSO is being built with gas production and processing capacity of 8 bcm/yr.

Energean Israel (Energean 70%) has sold 4.2 bcm/yr of discovered gas volumes, leaving 3.8 bcm/yr of available FPSO capacity for the potential tie-back of future discoveries.

Energean recently committed to drill a well in the Karish North exploration prospect. NSAI estimates that the Karish North well will target 38 bcm (1.3 Tcf) of gas and 16.4 million barrels of liquids (gross, Energean 70%) and has a 69% volume weighted probability of geological success.

The option to drill additional exploration wells remains open. Energean has six options remaining within its Stena drilling contract.

 

 

 

Slow Athens-Crete link action raising island’s energy fears

Crete’s major-scale electricity grid interconnection with Athens is a PCI-status project as it represents a part of the wider Euroasia Interconnector to link the Greek, Cypriot and Israeli power grids, meaning EU terms and conditions will need to be observed for the Crete-Athens link, the European Commission informed participants at a related meeting in Brussels earlier this week.

Greek and Cypriot regulatory authorities for energy, the European Commission, and the Euroasia Interconnector consortium, responsible for the wider Euroasia Interconnector project, took part in the meeting.

Officials of Greece’s power grid operator IPTO, which is at odds with the Euroasia Interconnector consortium for control of the Athens-Crete link’s development, skipped the meeting claiming there was no chance of any agreement on the issue with Euroasia Interconnector, a consortium of Cypriot interests.

The Athens-Crete interconnection has fallen behind schedule. Slow-moving bureaucratic procedures in Brussels have intensified Greek concerns of a serious power sufficiency problem on Crete as of 2020. An exemption to EU law concerning power station emission limits for local high-polluting units, such as those operating on Crete, is set to expire in December, 2019.

The Athens-Crete link’s PCI status promises to offer the project fast-track licensing advantages, reduce the risk of legal challenges by rival companies, and ensure transparent procedures.

RAE, Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, will most likely award the Athens-Crete link’s development to IPTO, but, even so, the power grid operator will need to stage a tender and include other companies. Belgian power grid operator Elia, currently examining details of the wider Greek-Cypriot-Israeli link, is believed to be interested in participating in the Athens-Crete project.

Valuable time will have been lost by next month, when developments are expected, which will increase the urgency of Crete’s looming energy sufficiency problem.

 

 

Energean board endorses Karish & Tanin project’s FID

The board of directors at Energean Oil & Gas has approved the Final Investment Decision (FID) to proceed with the $1.6 billion Karish & Tanin Development Project, offshore Israel, the company has just announced in a statement.

$405 million of the $460 million raised from the recent IPO of Energean will be used to fund the company’s 70% share in the project, while the remaining 30% will be funded by Kerogen Capital, Energean’s partner in the project.

The project is also being financed through a Senior Credit Facility of US$1.275 billion recently announced and underwritten by Morgan Stanley, Natixis, Bank Hapoalim and Société Générale.

Energean has secured long-term gas agreements with some of the largest private power producers and industrial companies in Israel. The company has contracted for the purchase of a total of 61 BCM of gas over a period of 16 years, at an annual rate of approximately 4.2 BCM per year (on an ACQ basis).

Energean will develop the project through a new build, owned FPSO with gas treatment capacity of 800 MMscf/day (8 BCM/per annum) and liquids storage capacity of 800,000 bbls, which the company believes provides a flexible infrastructure solution and, potentially, the scope to expand output for potential additional projects.

A 90km gas pipeline will link the FPSO to the Israeli coast and necessary onshore facilities to allow connection to the domestic sales gas grid operated by INGL, the national gas transmission company.

The entire project infrastructure has been contracted to be engineered, built and commissioned under a lump sum EPCIC Contract with Technip FMC, with a contracted delivery date of Q1 2021.

During 2019, three wells will be drilled into the Karish discovery, using the Stena Forth Drill Ship which is under contract from Energean.

The company has also secured options to drill five further wells in the licences Energean holds in Israel.

Energean Oil & Gas CEO, Mathios Rigas, commented: “We committed to the investors in the IPO that we would take FID immediately after the equity raise and I am pleased to be honouring this, the day after the shares started trading on the London Stock Exchange.

“Today, we commence the development of the project having, in a very short period of time, secured the necessary gas contracts, a turn-key EPCIC contract with Technip FMC, a drilling contract with Stena and project finance backed by four international banks. All this has been achieved in just 14 months since January 2017, when the Israeli Government approved the transfer of the licences to Energean.

“The Karish & Tanin development will bring competition and security of supply to the Israeli gas market, and will support Energean’s strategy to become a major player in the gas developments of the East Mediterranean.

“Owning and operating the only FPSO in the East Mediterranean with an 8 BCM per annum capacity gives Energean significant scope for growth through being able to support potential additional gas discoveries from Karish & Tanin and the five adjacent licences that we own in Israel.”