ELPE begins group restructuring plan to feature new subsidiaries

Hellenic Petroleum ELPE has begun preparations for the establishment of a new subsidiary as part of the group’s wider restructuring plan, dubbed Vision 2025. The subsidiary will be attached to a holding company to serve as an umbrella for subsidiaries representing the group’s activities.

As a first step, ELPE’s administration has decided to establish a new division for its refining, supply and petroleum and petrochemicals sales.  ELPE plans to offer 130.1 million new shares for 10 euros each, which results in a total value of 1.3 billion euros for this new subsidiary.

The restructuring plan is expected to be completed by the end of the year with the establishment of all other subsidiaries, representing Commerce (EKO, BP), ELPE Upstream, ELPE Renewables, as well as a subsidiary hosting the group’s electricity and natural gas interests.

The Vision 2025 plan includes investments worth 4 billion euros to facilitate the group’s entry into the renewable energy sector and support new technologies for cleaner energy production.

New regulatory framework for oil product, natural gas facilities

The energy ministry is planning to upgrade the regulatory framework for petroleum product and natural gas facilities, regarded as necessary in order to align the framework with modern technological developments and optimal solutions. Also, through the upgrade, the energy ministry will also introduce new regulations for areas not covered by national legislation.

The energy ministry has announced a related tender for a specialized consultant to be  tasked with designing and delivering technical regulations in the form of a regulatory framework.

Issues to be covered by the upgrade include defining technical specifications, configuration, design, construction, inspections, safe operation, maintenance and fire protection of hydrocarbon extraction facilities, including the sealing of wells, as well as for overland pipelines transporting crude and petroleum products and subsea pipelines carrying crude, petroleum products, natural gas and hydrocarbon extraction.

An 18-month contract will be offered to the winning participant in the tender for the regulatory framework upgrade, budgeted at 304,838 euros. Based on the current schedule, the framework’s upgrade will be completed by 2023.

ELPE posts 76% EBITDA increase, year-to-year, 2Q net profit at €54m

Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) has posted a 26 percent comparable EBITDA profit increase to 79 million euros for the second quarter.

ELPE’s net profit reached 54 million euros in the second quarter and 206 million euros in the first quarter, while the EBITDA figure was 133 million euros, a 76 percent year-on-year increase.

The market’s gradual market recovery has led to a slight improvement in international market conditions.

An operating profit increase at ELPE was primarily attributed to a record high in the petrochemical sector, where the reduced global availability of polypropylene led to very high international margins.

A rebound in international oil prices for yet another quarter, positively impacted the company’s stock valuation and published results.

 

Energean’s Prinos field losses seen reaching €32m in 2021

Upstream company Energean’s Prinos field concession, south of Kavala in northern Greece, is projected to incur yet another increase in losses this year, in excess of 32 million euros, according to a 2021 budget submitted by the company to EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company.

These losses, which do not include debt payments for investments made in previous years, will add to accumulated losses of 200 million euros incurred by the company through its operations at Prinos, Greece’s only active hydrocarbon field.

Production at the Prinos field is expected to narrowly exceed a total of 500,000 barrels this year, according to the company budget’s projections.

The budget’s projections were based on the assumptions of an average Brent index oil price of 60 dollars per barrel, reduced revenues of between 7 and 8 dollars per barrel at the Prinos field as a result of the inferior quality of oil produced, as well as a euro-dollar exchange rate of 1.20.

Based on these figures, the Prinos field’s revenue for 2021 is projected to reach 22.3 million euros, with expenses reaching 54.3 million euros.

Despite the negative results amid an unfavorable climate, Energean plans to recommence investments at the Gulf of Kavala’s “Epsilon” field with an amount of 13 million euros, part of total investments worth 23 million euros.

Prinos is currently producing from 14 wells, two out of which are horizontal at the North Prinos and Epsilon Fields.

The horizontal drills at the Epsilon field are expected to begin producing 15 months after the recommencement of investments.

These investments will include the completion of a new platform at the Lamda deposit, to emerge as the first new platform in Greece since 1977. Prinos began producing 40 years ago.

 

 

Oil prices rise sharply, time running out for oil-rich countries

Petroleum-rich countries, seeking to end the reliance of their economies on oil trade through investments in new domains as they prepare for the diminished role of fossil fuels in the new era, currently have a golden opportunity to boost output and make the most of elevated oil prices, especially if other producers remain disciplined in accordance with OPEC rules.

The UAE, a pertinent case, have invested heavily over the past decade in facilities boosting output, the objective being to maximize oil-export revenues for the financing of the country’s economic transition.

However, OPEC will first need to accept this increased production ability before the UAE can implement it. This is a tricky issue as if OPEC accepts the UAE plan, the cartel will then also face similar-minded requests by other members, which would hammer oil prices to low levels.

The UAE seem adamant on their national plan, considering it a matter of existential significance. Saudi Arabia and Russia face a difficult mission as the two countries will need to quell the UAE intention without instigating its withdrawal from OPEC.

In general, oil producers are now striving to sell as much oil as they can, for as long as they can, taking into account that the global decarbonization effort is gaining momentum.

ELPE to abandon its onshore block licenses in country’s west

Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) has decided to limit its presence in Greece’s upstream sector, driven by unfavorable market developments, sources have informed.

Spain’s Repsol recently also opted to surrender upstream rights in Greece.

ELPE intends to return to the Greek State its exploration and production licenses for two onshore blocks, Arta-Preveza and northwest Peloponnese, sources noted. The Greek petroleum company has deemed exploration activities in these specific areas as no longer being feasible, the sources added.

The company, in reaching its decision to withdraw from the Arta-Preveza and northwest Peloponnese blocks, also took into account negative reactions by local community groups as well as a series of bureaucratic obstacles, sources said.

The Greek State’s failure to deal with a lack of infrastructure at the port of Patras, close to these blocks in Greece’s west, is seen as a key factor in ELPE’s decision to withdraw from the Arta-Preveza and northwest Peloponnese blocks, despite promising seismic research results.

ELPE does not intend to surrender its interests in offshore blocks west and southwest of Crete. It is a co-member of consortiums with Total and ExxonMobil for these licenses.

The government is placing emphasis on renewable energy sources, foreign minister Nikos Dendias has just told Arab News.

 

Spain’s Repsol also exiting Ioannina license, to be fully held by Energean

Spain’s Repsol is continuing to disinvest its hydrocarbon interests in the Greek market in the wake of a return to the Greek State of its licensing rights for a block in Etoloakarnania, northwestern Greece, the company’s latest move being a plan to withdraw from a license concerning a block in Ioannina, also in the northwest.

Repsol, which formed a partnership with Energean Oil & Gas for the Ioannina block, holds a 60 percent stake in this project, now at a pre-drilling stage, as an exploratory step.

Repsol has informed EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, of its decision to withdraw from the Ioannina block, according to sources. The Spanish petroleum firm’s 60 percent stake will be transferred to Greek partner Energean, currently holder of the license’s other 40 percent, the sources added.

The Spanish company’s decisions on Greece are part of a wider disinvestment strategy aiming to reduce the firm’s international exposure to hydrocarbon exploration and production activities, sources explained.

Energean will seek a deadline extension, from EDEY, for drilling at the Ioannina license as it intends to find a new partner, sources informed. The Greek company remains interested in exploring the area’s hydrocarbon potential, the sources added.

Repsol’s intentions concerning an offshore block in the Ionian Sea, for which it has formed a 50-50 joint venture with Hellenic Petroleum, remain unclear.

ELPE posting results amid strong pressure felt by petroleum industry

ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum), to post financial results today amid the pandemic’s adverse conditions, seen also impacting the global petroleum industry throughout 2021, is expected to announce adjusted losses of 14 million euros for 4Q in 2020, following a profit of 24 million euros in the equivalent period a year earlier, according to an Optima Bank estimate.

The petroleum group’s adjusted EBITDA for 4Q is expected to be 62 million euros, a 48 percent reduction from the previous year.

As for 2020, overall, ELPE’s adjusted EBITDA is expected to be 318 million euros, a 44 percent reduction. Adjusted losses are expected to be 1.5 million euros following a profit of 182 million euros in 2019.

The petroleum group intends to move ahead with a transformation plan and green-energy investment plans this year.

ELPE, as an initial goal, aims to develop a RES portfolio totaling 300 MW capacity in 2021 and 600 MW by 2025.

The corporate group has already begun work on a 204-MW project in Kozani, northern Greece, following a takeover deal.

Any prospect of a recovery by the global petroleum industry appears distant. Many facilities around the world have continued to restrict their operations.

A recent Wood Mackenzie report projected the European refining industry will register losses measuring 1.4 million barrels per day until 2023 as a result of the pandemic’s ongoing lockdown measures.

At least two refineries in the Mediterranean region are currently examining the prospect of closing down.

Total, ExxonMobil, ELPE delay Crete surveys for next winter

A decision by the three-member consortium comprising Total, ExxonMobil and Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) to conduct seismic surveys at two offshore blocks south and west of Crete in the winter of 2021-2022, instead of this winter, highlights the upstream market’s negative climate, both in Greece and internationally.

Upstream players, drastically cutting down on investments costs amid the crisis, have cancelled scores of investment plans, especially those concerning the development of new fields.

Based on the terms of its contract, the Total-ExxonMobil-ELPE consortium also had the opportunity to conduct seismic surveys at its Cretan offshore blocks this winter.

It should be pointed out that the consortium has yet to receive environmental approval for these blocks. Nor have these slots been included in an annual workplan delivered by EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company.

Even so, Total, ExxonMobil and ELPE do not appear prepared, under the current conditions, to increase their investment risk in the region.

Spain’s Repsol on verge of exiting Greek upstream market

Spanish petroleum firm Repsol, a member of consortiums holding licenses to three fields in Greece, is on the verge of leaving the country’s upstream market as a part of a wider strategic adjustment prompted by the oil crisis and the pandemic, developments that have impacted exploration plans, as well as a company plan to reduce its environmental footprint, sources have informed.

The upstream industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, which has driven down prices and demand. The EU’s climate-change policies are another key factor behind Repsol’s decision.

Repsol is believed to have decided to significantly reduce the number of countries in which it is currently present for hydrocarbon exploration and production, the intention being to limit operations to the more lucrative of fields.

All three fields in Repsol’s Greek portfolio are still at preliminary research stages and do not offer any production assurances, meaning they will most probably be among the first to be scrapped by the company from its list of projects.

Respol formed a partnership with Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) for offshore exploration in the Ionian Sea. Repsol is the operator in this arrangement. A license secured by the two partners for this region in 2018 was approved in Greek Parliament a year later.

Also, in 2017, Repsol agreed to enter a partnership with Energean Oil & Gas, acquiring 60 percent stakes, and the operator’s role, for onshore blocks in Ioannina and Etoloakarnania, northwestern Greece.

Repsol maintains interests in over 40 countries, producing approximately 700,000 barrels per day.

Prinos field threatened by poor results, decline projection

Operations at the Prinos field, Greece’s only producing oil field, in the country’s offshore north, are in great danger of being disrupted following poor production figures in 2020 and a further decline predicted for 2021, a wider company update just delivered by Energean Oil & Gas, the field’s license holder, has suggested.

In 2020, production at the oil field reached just 1,800 barrels per day, while its inferior-quality output was sold at a discount price, between 7 to 8 dollars below Brent levels.

This level of output represents less than 4 percent of Energean’s overall production, which, last year, reached 48,000 barrels – mostly natural gas.

Output at the Prinos field is projected to drop below 1,500 bpd in 2021 as, even if a rescue plan for the facility is approved, related investments needed at the facility will take time to complete.

The rescue plan, announced last June by Energean and dubbed Green Prinos, envisions an adjustment for eco-friendly operations through a series of investments worth 75 million euros.

Energean’s administration, in its company update to analysts, expressed hope that a solution can be found in the first quarter of 2021 for its rescue plan, submitted to the Greek government, which then forwarded the plan to the European Commission.

The rescue plan has remained stuck at the European Directorate for Competition, whose approval is required.

Energean is considering the development of a carbon capture and storage project at its Prinos field, which would be the first in Greece, promising new life for the project, along with the support of investments at field E, whose development depends on the outcome of a financing bid, company officials informed.

Overall, the news for the Prinos field is not good. Losses incurred by this unit since September, 2019, when its crisis began before being further aggravated by the pandemic, have exceeded 100 million euros.

This loss, however, has not affected the overall financial results of Energean, generating significant earnings in Egypt, primarily. Israel, too, could become a major source of earnings for the company as of next year.

Mediterranean Gas & Energy Week, key regional summit, starts tomorrow

Two of the Mediterranean’s most important summits, the 3rd Mediterranean Oil & Gas Summit and the 8th Balkans Petroleum, have merged for Mediterranean Gas & Energy Week, a major online oil & gas event, taking place take January 19 to 21.

Following the success of the Global E&P Summit and the regional Africa Upstream, Gas & LNG Summit, North Africa’s governments will be gathering again to meet with European and Balkans officials and IOCs at the Mediterranean Gas & Energy Week, organized by IN-VR, global leader in investment networking.

Key IOCs, investors and service providers will present their new opportunities and solutions, and network with attendees
online.

Top-ranked government officials from the region, including Greece, Montenegro, Malta and Albania, will present their licensing rounds, LNG mega-projects, and new midstream projects, together with the Mediterranean’s most-established investors and new players, including Shell, TAQA Arabia, Dana Gas and Enagas.

Also, over its three days, the event promises to be filled with networking opportunities and the latest upstream and midstream developments.

Participants will include:

● Vladan Dubljević, Director, Montenegro Hydrocarbon Administration
● Alexandra Sdoukou, Secretary General for Energy and Mineral Resources, Ministry of the Environment and Energy of Greece
● Adrian Bylyku, Executive Director, AKBN
● Dr Albert Caruana, Director General, Continental Shelf Department, Office of the Prime Minister, Malta
● Khaled Abu Bakr, Executive Chairman, TAQA Arabia
● Patrick Allman-Ward, CEO, Dana Gas
● Francisco de la Flor, Director of International Organizations, Enagas
● Morris J. Becker, Senior Exploration Geoscientist – Portfolio & New Business, Middle East and Africa, Shell
● Charles Ellinas, CEO, EC Cyprus Natural Hydrocarbons Company Ltd (eCNHC)

ELPE lockdown impact fears expressed amid poorer conditions

Hellenic Petroleum ELPE chief executive Andreas Siamissis has expressed fears of the latest lockdown’s impact on fuel consumption, which he will believes will be considerable, during a presentation of third quarter results to analysts.

Narrowed refining margins, which dropped to historic lows during the third quarter, combined with a drop in demand, resulted in unprecedently difficult conditions, ELPE officials noted.

However, rays of hope have emerged for an imminent improvement in refining margins, they added.

Elpedison, ELPE’s joint energy venture with Italy’s Edison, registered a strong power generation performance, up 31 percent in the nine-month period, aided by competitively priced LNG for its production units, company officials informed.

Electricity sales rose by 5 percent, while operating profit reached 43 million euros, from 15 million euros a year earlier.

As for the natural gas market, the commercial activity of gas utility DEPA, in which ELPE holds a 35 percent stake, increased in the third quarter.

DEPA – whose two new entities, DEPA Commercial and DEPA Infrastructure, are both headed for privatization in a procedure that is expected to be completed by March, 2021 – reported a 3Q volume-based sales increase of 48 percent. Its EBITDA figure moved up to 18 million euros, up from 6 million euros a year earlier.

ELPE’s list of imminent RES projects has more-than-doubled compared to last year, the company officials informed.

Africa Upstream, LNG & Gas Summit taking place tomorrow

Following the success of the online Oil & Gas Summit, hundreds of EPs and service providers are gathering to listen to Africa’s biggest E&P opportunities, expand their partnerships and prospects at the Africa Upstream, Gas & LNG Summit, taking place tomorrow.

Speakers include: Ritu Sahajwalla, Managing Director, Greenville LNG; Ian Simm, Principal Advisor, IGM Energy; Keith Hill, President & CEO, Africa Oil corp; Harriet Okwi, Consultant & Founder, Okwi & Partners; Immanuel Mulunga, Managing Director, NAMCOR; Martin Bawden, Business Development Manager, Zebra Data Sciences; Gbemi Otudeko, Principal, Actis; Matt Tyrrell, Chief Geologist, TROIS Geoconsulting; Philippe Herve, VP Energy, SparkCognition; Adeleye Falade, General Manager Production, Nigeria LNG; Brian Marcus, Head, Capital Management, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc; Tabrez Khan, Director, EMEIA Oil & Gas Transactions, Ernst & Young; Mike Lakin, Founder and Owner, Envoi, Allan Mugisha, Project Manager, Springfield E&P; Gil Holzman, President & CEO, Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas; Chryssa Tsouraki, Co-CEO, IN-VR; Gawie Kanjemba, Lawyer and Energy Specialist; Scott Macmillan, Managing Director, Invictus Energy; Gregory Germani, Managing Director, West African Gas Pipeline Company; Kadijah Amoah, Country Director, Aker Energy; Eyas Alhomouz, CEO, Petromal; Duncan Rushworth, VP Business Developmemt, Svenska Petroleum; Rogers Beall, Executive Chairman, Africa Fortesa Corporation; Oumarou Maidagi . D, Head of Exploration & Production, Ministry of Hydrocarbons; Peter Dekker, Chief Geophysicist, PetroSA; Tom Perkins, Director, Stellar Energy Advisors Limited; Yann Yangari, Head of New Business, Strategy and Intelligence, Gabon Oil; Monica Chamussa, Exploration Manager, ENH; David Boggs, Managing Director, Energy Maritime Associates Pte Ltd; Jorg Kohnert, Managing Director, Jagal; Amina Benkhadra, General Director, National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, ONHYM; Jeremy Asher, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Tower Resources plc; and Khaled AbuBakr, Executive Chairman and Co-founder, TAQA Arabia.

 

 

Oil firms troubled by heating subsidy revision for gas, firewood inclusion

Petroleum product traders are troubled by government thoughts to broaden the eligibility of heating subsidy support so that, besides heating fuel, three new categories, natural gas, firewood and pellets, are also added to the list.

Contrary to natural gas, heating fuel is overtaxed, while the encouragement, through subsidies, of firewood as a heating source does not make environmental sense given the high levels of resulting smog, petroleum industry sources have pointed out.

High levels of smog have been recorded in Greek cities during winters over the past decade or so as struggling households have sought lower-cost heating amid the recession.

Heating subsidies are already limited and barely cover the needs of underprivileged households, petroleum industry officials have noted, fearing their share of the total could diminish if other heating sources also become eligible.

Heating fuel supply for the approaching winter season began yesterday at a level of 77 cents per liter, 2 cents lower than the price level at the close of last season’s trading, in May. Heating fuel prices are forecast to remain low, sources said.

Despite the lower price level, demand was subdued on opening day, yesterday. Many consumers took advantage of last season’s price drop and are already stocked up. In addition, temperatures around Greece remain mild.

ELPE seeking greater North Macedonia market share

Hellenic Petroleum ELPE, aiming to capture a bigger share of the North Macedonian market, is currently negotiating for extrajudicial solutions that would enable the reopening of a company oil pipeline linking Thessaloniki with Skopje.

In an effort to help resolve this issue, ELPE has proposed a series of RES investments in the neighboring country as well as a conversion of its Okta refinery into a petroleum products hub facilitating distribution to the western Balkans.

December will be a crucial month for the negotiations between ELPE and North Macedonia as a verdict is scheduled to be delivered on an ELPE compensation request for 32 million dollars for a breach, by the neighboring country, of contractual obligations concerning minimum supply amounts between 2008 and 2011.

The North Macedonian oil market is dominated by two Russian companies, Gazprom and Lukoil, both gaining further ground. Gazprom supplies fuel products to North Macedonia via Serbia and Lukoil does so from Bulgaria.

US officials, seeking to inhibit the dominance of Russian energy firms in North Macedonia, have intervened to help resolve the country’s differences with ELPE.

Just days ago, a meeting on ELPE’s effort to reopen the oil pipeline was held in Thessaloniki during an official visit to the city by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. US government officials, Greece’s energy minister Costis Hatzidakis and North Macedonian government deputies participated.

For quite some time now, Washington has made clear its stance aiming to limit Europe’s energy dependence on Russian companies and, as a result, is promoting the ELPE oil pipeline as an alternative supply route into North Macedonia.

 

ELPE negotiating reopening of North Macedonia oil pipeline

Hellenic Petroleum ELPE, Greek government and North Macedonian officials have begun talks aiming for the reopening of an oil pipeline linking ELPE’s Thessaloniki refinery with the company’s Okta refinery in the neighboring country through an extrajudicial settlement by the end of the year.

The issue was discussed at a meeting in Thessaloniki yesterday, held on the sidelines of a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

At the meeting, the ELPE and North Macedonian government officials appeared keen on achieving an out-of-court settlement, sources informed.

The Greek petroleum group is seeking compensation of 32 million dollars for a breach, by the neighboring country, of contractual obligations concerning minimum supply amounts between 2008 and 2011.

ELPE has already won an older case, on the same issue, at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris for compensation worth 52 million dollars. This verdict was delivered in 2007, three years after the case was filed.

The Greek and North Macedonian sides, encouraged by the US, agreed to form a committee to work, until mid-October, on a solution that could enable the oil pipeline to reopen following a seven-year interruption, sources informed.

The officials have set a deadline to reopen the pipeline by the end of the year, sources added.

ELPE has completed all technical work needed for the oil pipeline’s relaunch, sources said. The pipeline’s use in place of oil tankers would offer drastic transportation cost cuts.

The ELPE officials updated North Macedonia’s government officials on the company’s investment plan for the neighboring country, sources said. It is believed to include RES investments and a conversion of ELPE’s Okta facilities into a petroleum products hub that would serve the western Balkans.

ELPE is already present in Serbia and Montenegro and is now targeting the markets of Albania and Kosovo for supply of ready-to-use petroleum products.

The oil pipeline stopped operating in 2013 after ELPE deemed its Okta refining activities were no longer feasible. The 213-km pipeline has a 350,000-metric ton capacity.

Until 2013, the pipeline was used to transfer crude oil from ELPE’s Thessaloniki refinery to the Okta unit in Skopje.

Greek energy minister Costis Hatzidakis chaired yesterday’s meeting, which involved the participation of secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou; deputy minister for economic diplomacy Kostas Fragogiannis; ELPE president Giannis Papathanasiou; ELPE chief executive Andreas Siamisiis; North Macedonian government deputies Liupko Nikolovski and Fatmit Bitikji; the country’s economy minister Kreshnik Bekteshi; US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Francis Fannon; and the US Ambassador to North Macedonia Kate Marie Byrnes.

Greece is ‘hydrocarbon-promising, strategically located’

By Mr. Tassos Vlassopoulos

CEO of Hellenic Petroleum (ELPE) Upstream

Greece has an old connection with hydrocarbons. More than 2,500 years ago, Herodotus mentioned the famous oil seep in Keri Zakynthos that still brings oil to the surface.

However, this connection is not only ancient. Besides the still producing Prinos Oil field and the verified West Katakolo Oil and Gas field, recent exploration activity has generated interest in the Greek hydrocarbons sector.

Oil and gas exploration began prior to the 2nd World War and intensified in late 70s to late 90s. A new turn was taken after 2015, as the collection of some new data was completed, prompting the proposal of new ideas.  International oil companies (e.g. TOTAL, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Edison), proceeded in several ventures in Greece and ELPE Upstream became an attractive partner.

Greece’s west, both onshore and offshore, seems to share many similarities with well-established Albanian and Italian hydrocarbon areas. In addition, following recent discoveries in our broader region, blocks around Crete were carved out. Total, Exxon and Hellenic Petroleum will be exploring their deep waters.

Greece is still considered an under-explored area despite the fact that more than 70,000 km of 2D and 2,000 km2 of 3D seismic lines have been acquired in addition to about 100 wells that have been drilled. However, recent technological developments enable feasible exploration of deeper waters, assuming the prospects are promising.

Greece, apart from being a hydrocarbons-promising area, is also strategically located in the middle of Mediterranean. The country is situated at the crossroads for transporting gas, from the current or future producing fields in the Caspian and the Eastern Mediterranean, to Western Europe. IGB (Gas Interconnector to link Greece with Bulgaria), Poseidon, TAP and East-Med are at different stages of development, They will link Greece and Europe’s west with all producing regions in proximity and provide potential leverage for potential developments in the regions of western Greece and Crete.

Oil and gas remains a key element of the energy mix, though the discussion on climate change continues and renewable energy solution costs have been declining. Natural gas is the transitional fuel, as we move away from coal and trend towards renewables. Electric vehicles are penetrating selected markets but not yet on a large scale, globally. Oil remains the main fuel for all other modes of transportation and petrochemicals have no real alternatives in the foreseeable future.

Tension rises as Turkish vessel enters Greek continental shelf

The situation concerning the Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis, which entered the easternmost point of the Greek continental shelf yesterday, is unchanged today, the Athens-Macedonian News Agency has reported.

Oruc Reis is accompanied by Turkish naval units, while the situation is being monitored by the Greek Armed Forces, the Greek news agency has reported.

Tension has re-escalated in the east Mediterranean since yesterday afternoon, with Turkey disputing, in practice, the Greek-Egyptian EEZ agreement through the presence and maneuvering of its Oruc Reis research vessel and Turkish warships.

Turkish survey systems are believed to be ready for application, but, according to Greek estimates, research work cannot proceed as a result of noise being generated by nearby ships, both Greek and Turkish.

Greek navy units, lined up opposite the Turkish ships, are seeking to prompt a Turkish withdrawal. The Greek Air Force and Army are also on standby.

Posting on Twitter, Cagatay Erciyes, a senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official, noted that Greece has created problems because of a 10-square-kilometer Greek island named Kastellorizo, which lies 2 kilometers away from the Turkish mainland and 580 kilometers from the Greek mainland.

“Greece is claiming 40,000 km2 of maritime jurisdiction area due to this tiny island and attempting to stop the Oruc Reis and block Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean.

“This maximalist claim is not compatible with international law. It is against the principle of equality. Yet Greece is asking the EU and US to support this claim and put pressure on Turkey to cease its legitimate offshore activities. This is not acceptable and reasonable,” he said.

Cyprus has responded by issuing a Navtex of its own, effective from today until August 23, through which it notifies that the Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis and accompanying vessels are conducting illegal operations within Cyprus’ EEZ.

Prinos field rescue effort now at the finance ministry

A government effort to rescue offshore Prinos, Greece’s only producing field, in the north, is now in the hands of the finance ministry following preceding work at the energy ministry, sources have informed.

The field, like the wider upstream industry, has been impacted by the pandemic and plunge in oil prices.

Deputy finance minister Theodoros Skylakakis is now handling the Prinos rescue case following the transfer of a related file from the energy ministry.

According to the sources, three scenarios are being considered. A financing plan through a loan with Greek State guarantees appears to be the top priority. A second option entails the utilization of an alternate form of state aid. The other consideration involves the Greek State’s equity participation in the Prinos field’s license holder, Energean Oil & Gas.

The European Commission will need to offer its approval to any of these options as they all represent forms of state aid.

Energy ministry sources have avoided offering details but are confident a solution is in the making.

Ministry OKs environmental study for blocks south of Crete

Energy minister Costis Hatzidakis has approved a strategic environmental impact study concerning an offshore area south of Crete in preparation for tenders to offer exploration and production licenses for two blocks covering most of the island’s width.

Giannis Basias, the former head official at EDEY, the Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company, went ahead with the strategic environmental impact study last August to clear the way for government authorities to stage tenders for licenses and also spare  winning bidders of needing to wait for pending issues to be resolved before they can begin their exploration efforts.

In addition, it is believed EDEY took swift action for the environmental impact study covering the offshore area south of Crete in response to interest expressed by oil majors.

The two offshore blocks south of Crete measure a total of 33,933 square kilometers and cover all four prefectures spread across the island.

These vacant blocks are situated next to two blocks southwest and west of Crete that have already been licensed out to a three-member consortium headed by Total with ExxonMobil and Hellenic Petroleum as partners.

The eastern flank of these two blocks is intruded by a corridor defined in a recent Turkish-Libyan maritime deal.

The Greek energy ministry’s approval of the strategic environmental impact study for south of Crete is not linked to Turkey’s heightened provocations in the Aegean Sea, ministry officials told energypress.

The environmental study’s approval means this offshore area is now set for tenders and also sends out a signal of readiness to the international upstream industry, the ministry officials explained.

Just days ago, the newly appointed EDEY administration and the energy ministry’s secretary-general Alexandra Sdoukou met with officials of Total, operator of the consortium holding the two licenses southwest and west of Crete. Seismic surveys for these blocks will be completed by March next year, the Total officials appear to have promised.

New leadership at hydrocarbon management company EDEY

The Greek Hydrocarbon Management Company (EDEY), an independent company owned by the Hellenic Republic that oversees and manages the nation’s oil & gas exploration & production, investor relations and a growing portfolio of international energy infrastructure projects, has announced the appointment of a new chairman of the board of directors and a new chief executive. 

The appointments by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, follow the nomination by Greece’s energy minister Costis Hatzidakis and endorsement by the Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency of the Hellenic Parliament.

In a statement, the Minister of Environment and Energy, Costis Hatzidakis, noted that the appointments “mark a new chapter for the company, which now has an expanded role following the absorption of a number of International trans-boundary gas pipeline projects, such as the Greek-Bulgarian (IGB) pipeline, IGI Poseidon and East Med – projects supported by inter-governmental agreements between several countries in the Mediterranean region that will strengthen European security of supply as well as Greece’s role as a protagonist nexus in some of the region’s most important strategic developments.” 

The newly appointed chairman, Rikard Scoufias, who joins the company in a non-executive capacity from a distinguished energy and extractives career in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa, commented: “This is an important moment in the history of EDEY. Strong corporate governance, especially environmental and social governance (ESG), is in unprecedented focus, nowhere more so than the energy and extractive sectors. It is a privilege to be asked to lead such an eminent board of directors, with distinguished careers from Greece, Norway, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Denmark and the United Kingdom, and we all look forward to work closely with the executive team and to guide the company into this new chapter of growth and continued success.”  

Aristofanis Stefatos, EDEY’s newly appointed CEO, who returns to Greece following a successful executive career in Norway’s oil and gas industry, where he served as COO, CEO and in non-executive roles noted: “Τhe opportunities that hydrocarbon exploration and production offer Greece are significant. By securing these opportunities today, we position the country for the widest possible strategic choices for the future – including the delivery of Greece’s committed plans for alternative energies and long-term decarbonization. We will achieve this ensuring that EDEY is widely recognized as an efficient, transparent and dedicated partner to investors and all stakeholders, whilst at the same time holding those partners to the highest international environmental and social standards.” 

International investors link up for Timor-Leste Oil & Gas summit

The ​Timor-Leste (East Timor) Oil & Gas Online Summit​, organised by IN-VR and under the endorsement of ANPM, Timor-Leste’s petroleum and minerals authority, took place on July 9, bringing together international investors together with the government, IOCs and key service providers.

The summit was sponsored by SundaGas​, ​Pacific Towing​, ​Vieira De Almeida​, ​TIMOR GAP​, ​CGG​, ​GLJ and ​Clifford Chance​.

H.E. Dr. Victor da Conceicao Soares, Minister of Petroleum and Minerals opened the summit welcoming investors and operators. He was followed by Dino da Silva, President of ANPM, who gave an overview of Timor-Leste’s 2nd Licensing Round, and Timor-Leste’s onshore and offshore opportunities.

“A very friendly tax system with relatively low tax rates [is offered] when compared with the average that we see not only in South East Asia, but in the world , when compared not only with the rest of South-East Asia, but even worldwide. It is clearly one of the most competitive countries in the world for the industry,” said ​Joao Afonso Fialho​, Partner and Head of Oil & Gas, VdA in his presentation on Timor-Leste’s investment environment.

“We are very nicely positioned in regards to infrastructure and transportation of gas. At the moment we are looking into having appraisal wells drilled in 2022,” noted Colin Murray, VP of Technical, Sundagas when discussing the Chuditch gas discovery and SundaGas’ progress within only one year of signing a PSC with Timor-Leste.”

“We look forward to establishing a similar relationship with Timor-Leste. In fact, it’s essential to the success of any marine business and essential to us. A strong relationship with the government is a critical component to our investments,” said ​Neil Papenfus​, General Manager of Pacific Towing, on comparing the company’s success in Papua New Guinea and investing in Timor-Leste.

“Timor-Leste has chosen the best solution, making access to its data free for interested investors, a model that works well for frontier countries,” commented Martin Bawden, Business Development Manager of Zebra Data, when asked about ANPM’s usage of their Virtual Data Room service.

ANPM, IOCs and investors renewed their meeting for the ​2nd Timor-Leste Oil & Gas Summit​ in Dili, Timor-Leste in 2021.

US backs Greece’s east Mediterranean activities, major projects

All countries in the east Mediterranean region must carry out their activities in accordance with international law, including the International Law of the Sea as stipulated by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Greek and US governments have jointly announced following a high-level virtual conference held yesterday on energy issues.

This statement clearly offers US support for the positions of Greece, facing Turkish provocation.

The working group’s participating Greek and US officials reiterated the commitment of the two countries to cooperate on the effort to diversify energy sources in southeast Europe, collaborate with regional partners for energy source development, and promote regional energy security.

The latest energy working group builds on steadily growing bilateral cooperation following Greek-US strategic dialogue meetings in December, 2018 and October, 2019, the joint announcement added.

The Greek team was represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Deputy Minister for Economic Diplomacy and Openness Kostas Frangogiannis and Deputy Environment and Energy Minister Gerassimos Thomas (photo). The US team was represented by Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources Francis Fannon and Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes.

Fannon, the Assistant Secretary of State, expressed satisfaction on the completion of the Greek segment of the TAP gas pipeline project, to carry Azeri gas to Europe.

The US official also offered support for the ongoing construction of the Greek-Bulgarian IGB gas pipeline interconnection and the progress achieved in plans for an FSRU in Alexandroupoli, northeastern Greece, a South Kavala underground gas storage facility, and Greek-North Macedonian connection.

Petroleum sector rebounding, Motor Oil deputy tells

The petroleum market is now rebounding, a trend reflected by rising sales figures in May, Motor Oil’s deputy chief executive Petros Tzannetakis has told analysts during a virtual conference.

The official, responding to a related question, expressed cautious optimism for the petroleum sector’s performance this coming summer.

“Greece’s successful management of the pandemic can attract tourists. The borders have been opened and, at the same time, demand for gasoline is rising. I am cautiously optimistic,” Tzannetakis said.

It is currently not possible to make predictions on aviation fuel demand, he noted.

Motor Oil proved to be durable and resilient amid the pandemic’s unprecedented demand and price collapse for petroleum products, the deputy chief noted. The  corporate group’s major debt reduction and high-level liquidity played a key role, he pointed out.

Record sales figures in preceding years contributed to the corporate group’s resilience during the lockdown period, he explained.

Gov’t committed to Prinos oil field sustainability, deputy tells

The government is committed to supporting the sustainability of the offshore Prinos oil field in the country’s north, Greece’s only producing unit, heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic’s effects on the global economy, including record-low oil prices, deputy energy minister Gerasimos Thomas pledged last night in response to questions raised by MPs of the leftist Syriza party and KKE, the Greek Communist Party.

“We are committed to the oil field’s uninterrupted production, an effort through which jobs will be protected,” Thomas stated.

The government is currently negotiating with Energean Oil & Gas, license holder and operator of the offshore field, south of Kavala, for a solid solution, the deputy minister also informed.

A detailed announcement will be made once these talks have been completed and the government has shaped its proposals, the deputy minister told parliament after Syriza MP Soultana Eleftheriadou criticized him for being too vague with his remarks.

Thomas made note of the European Commission’s new framework for state aid as one of the solutions being worked on by the government. This framework provides flexibility, he pointed out.

The deputy minister also made reference to a government support plan for the Kavala region that includes the development of an underground gas storage facility at a virtually depleted offshore gas field south of Kavala, and an upgrade of the city’s port.

Argentina oil, gas energy online summit planned for May 12

IN-VR is organizing the ​Argentina Oil, Gas & Energy Summit under the Endorsement of the British Argentine Chamber of Commerce, taking place completely online on May 12, 2020.

The event, gathering key authorities and investors, will focus on Argentina’s plans in the current oil price landscape, the COVID-19 impact on the market, Vaca Muerta, one of the largest shale formations in the world, and Argentina’s LNG plans.

The summit will gather government officials, key IOCs, investors and service providers that will discuss these topics and network with attendees online in sessions and private B2B meeting rooms.

All profits from tickets will be donated to ​NGOs and charities that support doctors combating the coronavirus and groups most affected in Argentina​.

Key topics on the agenda: 

● How will the current oil price landscape affect Argentina?
● How will the coronavirus affect Argentina?
● Argentina’s shale oil government policies
● Identifying E&P opportunities in Vaca Muerta
● Service provider opportunities in Vaca Muerta
● Argentina’s future plans for LNG
● What are the best companies to partner with in Argentina?
● Q&A: How do foreign investors view Argentina’s oil & gas industry?
● Human resources needs in Vaca Muerta and Argentina.

Presenters:

● Daniel Dreizzen, ​Former Secretary of Energy Planning, Argentina
● Jimena Blanco, Head of Americas, ​Maplecroft
● Gabriela Aguilar, General Manager, ​Excelerate
● Diego Garcia, Partner, ​Bain
● Claudio Spurkel, Global Sales Business Development Manager, ​Agira
● Mark LaCour, Oil & Gas Expert & Editor in Chief, ​Oil and Gas Global Network

For further information visit:
https://www.in-vr.co/argentina-online

Or contact:
felix@in-vr.co

 

 

 

Energean’s Competent Persons Report for Karish North completed

Energean Oil and Gas, the oil and gas producer focused on the Mediterranean, has announced the completion of an independent Competent Persons Report by DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M) on the Karish North Field, offshore Israel, and submission of an addendum to the Field Development Plan (FDP) to the State of Israel’s Ministry of Energy for Karish North.

Highlights

  • Karish North certified to contain gross 2C resources of 1.2 Tcf (33.7 bcm) of gas and 39 million barrels of liquids (mmbbls). This represents a total of 250 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), of which 84% is gas. 
  • Delivers a 32% uplift to Energean’s previous Karish North resource best estimate, including approximately 0.3Tcf (9 bcm) of gas plus 5mmbbls of liquids, a total of approximately 60 mmboe (of which 90% is gas).
  • Total gross 2P + 2C across the Karish, Tanin and Karish North  is now estimated to be almost 3.5 Tcf (99 bcm) of gas plus 82 mmbbls of liquids, a total of  698 mmboe (88% of which is gas).
  • 0.6bcm/yr contingent Gas Sales and Purchase Agreements (GSPAs) will now be converted to firm; firm GSPAs will now deliver approximately 5.6bcm/yr of gas sales on plateau, with FPSO capacity of 8bcm/yr.
  • Energean continues to actively market additional gas volumes to secure additional long-term cash flows that are largely insulated from global commodity price fluctuations.
  • Energean has also submitted an addendum to the Karish and Tanin FDP, to cover the Karish North development, envisaging a production capacity of up to 300mmscf/d (approximately 3 bcm/yr), initially from one well.
  • Karish North Final Investment Decision (FID) expected during 2H 2020 with first gas in 2022.

Mathios Rigas, CEO of Energean said:

“I am delighted that 2C resources atKarish North are some 32% ahead of where we had initially expected. This has enabled us not only to convert 0.6bcm/yr of contingent contracts into firm, but also to continue targeting additional gas sales opportunities that will be incremental to the 5.6bcm/yr of firm gas sales that we now expect to deliver on plateau.We are very pleased to be developing a world-class gas resource of 700 millionboe and look forward to more gas discoveries in our acreage in Israel and the wider Eastern Med region.” 

Details of D&M CPR

Reserves & Resources

Following a full analysis of the results of both the Karish North discovery well and the side-track, D&M has certified that the Karish North field contains gross 2C contingent resources of 1.2Tcf (33.7 Bcm) of gas plus 39.4 million barrels of liquids (Energean 70%), a total of approximately 250mmboe. This represents a significant uplift of 0.3 Tcf (8.5 Bcm) of gas plus 5.4 million barrels of liquids (approximately 60mmboe) to Energean’s previous best estimate of Karish North volumes. Best estimate Gas Initially In Place (GIIP) is now 1.7Tcf (approximately 48 bcm).

Gross and working interest 1C, 2C and 3C are shown in the tables below.

In the CPR, Karish North resources are classified as contingent ahead of FID being taken on the project, which is expected during 2H 2020. Once FID has been taken resource volumes are expected to be reclassified as reserves, to the extent that they are underpinned by GSPAs.

D&M’s estimates are based on the results of the Karish North exploration and appraisal campaigns that were completed in 2019, coupled with an analysis of the recently re-processed and re-calibrated 3D seismic. The uplift in resource volumes largely results from the new conclusion that the Karish East structure is a part of the Karish North and Karish North-East structures, which were included in Energean’s original resource estimates. Following analysis of the re-processed and re-calibrated 3D seismic, Energean’s internal view is aligned with that of D&M, that Karish North, Karish North-East and Karish East form one structure.

Revised Gross Contingent Resource Volumes

Liquids

mmbbls

Sales Gas

Bcf

Sales Gas

Bcm

Total Oil Equivalent

mmboe

1C

21.4

642.7

18.2

135

2C

39.4

1,190.8

33.7

250

3C

55.6

1,701.7

48.2

357

Revised Working Interest Contingent Resource Volumes

Liquids

mmbbls

Sales Gas

Bcf

Sales Gas

Bcm

Total Oil Equivalent

mmboe

1C

15.0

449.9

12.7

95

2C

27.6

833.6

23.6

175

3C

38.9

1,191.2

33.9

250

Total, independently verified gross 2P reserves and 2C resources in the Karish and Tanin leases (Energean 70%) are now 3.5Tcf of gas (98.6 Bcm) and 82 million barrels of liquids, a total of approximately 698 million barrels of oil equivalent. Total gross recoverable 2P + 2C across theKarish and Tanin leases is presented in the following table.

Revised Gross 2P Reserve + 2C Resource Volumes

Liquids

mmbbls

Sales Gas

Bcf

Sales Gas

Bcm

Total Oil Equivalent

mmboe

Karish[1]

38.5

1,503.6

42.6

305

Karish North3

39.4

1,190.8

33.7

250

Tanin2

4.1

785.9

22.2

143

Total

82.0

3,480.3

98.6

698

Revised Working Interest 2P Reserves + 2C Resources

Liquids

mmbbls

Sales Gas

Bcf

Sales Gas

Bcm

Total Oil Equivalent

mmboe

Karish[2]

27.0

1052.5

29.8

213

Karish North3

27.6

833.6

23.6

175

Tanin2

2.9

550.1

15.5

100

Total

57.4

2436.2

69.0

489

Commercial & Financial Impact

Finalisation of the CPR results in the conversion of 0.6bcm/yr of conditional GSPAs to firm contracts. Energean Israel’s firm GSPAs now deliver sold volumes of 5.6bcm/yr on plateau. The CPR enables Energean to continue marketing its gas resources into the growing Israeli domestic market and key regional export markets, securing additional long-term cash flows that are largely insulated from global commodity price fluctuations.

Updated FDP

Energean has also submitted an addendum to the Karish and Tanin FDP, to cover theKarish North development, to the State of Israel’s Ministry of Energy Technical Department. Energean expects to take Final Investment Decision (FID) on the project in 2H 2020, with first gas expected during 2022. The FDP addendum envisages that two wells will be required to develop the greater Karish North structure. Phase 1 of the Karish North development will include the drilling of one well, tied back to the Energean Power FPSO, for the delivery of first gas in 2022. Phase 2 will include the drilling of a second production well around 2025, to optimise gas recoveries. The FDP allows for the production of up to 300mmscf/d through a dual flow line, which it is envisaged can be produced by a single well to start off with; Karish North reservoir properties are similar to those at Karish main. 

Energean is a London Premium Listed FTSE 250 and Tel Aviv 35 Listed E&P company with operations offshore Israel, Greece and the Adriatic. In March 2018, Energean took Final investment Decision on its flagship Karish and Tanin development, offshore Israel, which, following the discovery of Karish North, is estimated to contain approximately 700 million barrels of oil equivalent (Energean plc 70%), of which 88% is gas. Energean Israel’s firm Gas Sales and Purchase Agreements now deliver sold volumes of 5.6bcm/yr on plateau, providing sustainable, long-term cash flows that are underpinned by hard floor pricing and take-or-pay provisions.

Energean also has nine exploration licences offshore Israel, and a 25-year exploitation licence for the Katakolo offshore block in western Greece and additional exploration potential in its other licences in western Greece and Montenegro.

On 4 July 2019, Energean announced the conditional acquisition of Edison E&P for $750 million plus $100 million of contingent consideration. On 3 April 2020 it was announced that the acquisition agreement had been amended to exclude Edison E&P’s Algerian assets, accompanied by a reduction to the consideration of approximately $150 million. On 14 October 2019, Energean announced the conditional disposal of Edison E&P’s Norwegian and UK North Sea assets to Neptune Energy for $250 million plus $30 million of contingent consideration. These transactions are expected to close in 2020.

Energean to utilize measures for crisis-hit Prinos field

Energean Oil & Gas, whose offshore Prinos oil field in the country’s north has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic’s effects on the global economy, including record-low oil prices, intends to utilize relief measures offered by the Greek government for various sectors, including the upstream industry.

The government’s relief measures, introduced to help enterprises weather the financial impact of the unprecedented coronavirus crisis, promise respite in a variety of forms, including tax payment delays, VAT discounts as well as employee allowances covering suspended work contracts.

Energean, which has invested tens of millions of euros to keep upstream  activities alive in Greece, now needs to reduce its Prinos operating costs and keep production flowing. A disruption of production and resumption at a latter date is not technically feasible. Prinos is Greece’s only producing oil field.

The oil price plunge has made big impact on the Prinos field, an old high-cost venture whose production costs are estimated at 21.5 dollars per barrel.

This specific field produces heavy crude of higher refining demands. Subsequently, Energean sells the unit’s output to BP at price levels that are between 7 and 8 dollars lower per barrel compared to Brent prices.

Production at Prinos is declining. Output peaked at 4,000 barrels per day in 2018 but fell to 3,300 in 2019 and is projected to slide further in 2020, officials noted.

Energean has cut back on investments at Prinos by 80 million dollars.

International crude prices plunged from 66 dollars to less than 25 dollars per barrel in the first quarter. Prices have not fallen so low since 2003.