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August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Natural Gas Discovered in Egypt’s Nile Delta; Will Israeli Gas Still Be Needed?

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Natural gas waits for no bureaucracy, and consumers clamor for energy no matter what. Cairo cannot wait for Jerusalem to untangle its political squabbling and eternal red tape.

Instead, Italian energy company Eni was given the green light to search for more gas off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, and along the Nile, according to UPI Business News.

This week, the company announced its efforts have met with success.

Italian energy company Eni said in a statement to media, “Preliminary estimates of the discovery account for a potential of 530 billion cubic feet of gas in place with upside, plus associated condensates.”

The firm signed two off-shore deep-water Mediterranean exploration agreements in January after a 2013 auction held by Cairo. The exploration follows a $5 billion framework agreement signed in March to develop Egypt’s oil and gas reserves.

The new reservoir was found in the Nooros exploration prospect in the Abu Madi West license area, about 75 miles northeast of Alexandria, according to the report. The discovery is emblematic of the company’s strategy to “focus on Egyptian assets close to existing infrastructure and with high resource potential,” Eni said in its statement.

The new discovery will go into production by September, using nearby existing gas treatment facilities, UPI reported. Eni has been operating in Egypt since 1954. The company currently has an equity production of some 210,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

One month ago, Emirati energy firm Dana Gas also announced plans to launch a new drilling campaign in Egypt. Under the deal, Dana will have the right to sell the government’s share of the reserves.

Israeli Energy Exports to Egypt As far back as April 2014, Israel and Egypt have been discussing a deal to export Israel’s natural gas to Cairo. Deals were already signed by Israel with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority despite the diplomatic friction with the latter.

This past February, the Noble Energy-Delek Group which owns the mammoth Israeli Leviathan gas field sent a delegation to Cairo to discuss Israeli gas export to Egypt from the offshore Tamar gas field. The gas would flow to Egypt’s Damietta LNG (liquified natural gas) plant, according to Egyptian oil ministry sources who spoke with Reuters.

The Egyptian government finalized a long-delayed deal for an LNG import terminal and has already reached an agreement to import gas from Algeria. Talks between Cairo and Russia are continuing.

Egypt is also negotiating for gas imports from the Aphrodite reservoir in Block 12 of Cyprus. The island nation recently nixed a bid to import gas from Israel’s Leviathan field for its own domestic use, due to the ongoing snarl of red tape that has been tying up industrial progress on Leviathan in general.

Noble-Delek Talks with BG in Egypt Noble-Delek group, meanwhile, is doing its best to carry on despite the Israeli penchant for bureaucracy. The group remains in talks with Britain’s British Gas (BG) Group that runs one of Egypt’s LNG plants, as well as with the Egyptian Dolphinus Group.

The consortium spent most of last year discussing the deal to build the $2.2 billion 10 billion cubic meter (bcm) sub-sea pipeline to link up with the BG facility, to be completed by 2023.

The group also signed a letter of intent with BG that states “if Leviathan is not developed on schedule, Aphrodite will supply them with the gas they need,” according to an industry source. A similar letter of intent to sell 2.5 b.cu.m. annually to Dolphinus was signed several months ago, using the Tamar field as the source for the gas. The partners said at the time the gas could flow for private industry within 2015.

Israel Refuses to Pay $1.1 Billion Swiss Court Award to Iran

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Israel says it will not pay a $1.1 billion award to Iran over a dispute dating back to the period of the Islamic Revolution, won by Tehran this week in the Swiss Federal Court.

“Under the laws of trade we cannot transfer funds to an enemy country,” read a statement issued by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.

The response came after the court ordered the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC), to pay the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) $1.1 billion over a joint venture that began long before the ayatollahs seized Tehran’s government. The plaintiffs also demanded $7 million in legal fees, although it is not clear whether the court approved the charge. In addition, the court allowed Iran to file a $7 billion arbitration claim against the Jewish State.

In 1968, the two countries made a deal to carry oil from Asia to Eilat and on to Europe. At the time, the NIOC delivered 14.75 million cubic meters of crude oil, worth $450 million, to Israel’s Trans-Asiatic Oil (TAO), Ltd.

The oil moved via a pipeline that reached from Israel’s southernmost port eastward to its Mediterranean port of Ashkelon, and then up the coast to its northern port of Haifa.

Today, the EAPC pipeline in Israel stretches approximately 750 kilometers, according to the company’s website.

The ayatollahs cut off Iran’s business with Israel – and its deal with EAPC –as soon as the ruling Shah was eliminated from the government, saying the Islamic Republic did not recognize Israel as a legitimate nation. To this day, Iran still vows to “wipe the Zionist entity from the map of the world.”

Israel seized Iranian assets and launched a counter-suit to offset its own losses after the deal went sour.

Iran and P5+1 Agree to ‘Key Parameters’ with Unknown Clauses [video]

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Iran and the P5+1 powers announced Thursday afternoon they have reached an understanding of “key parameters” for a final agreement that will remove sanctions on Iran and would require it to allow verified inspections of its nuclear program.

Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that “many technical details” must be ironed out.

President Barack Obama called it a “good deal” that will keep Iran from getting its hands on weapons grade plutonium and would require enriched uranium to be shipped out of Iran.

He said the arrangement is better than “bombing Iran and starting a new war in the Middle East” and would only set back Iran’s nuclear program for a few years. Kerry said that the nuclear facility at Natanz is the only plant that will continue to operate and where the uranium is low grade.

No other enrichment material will remain, and the Fordo nuclear plant will be converted to a “research and development “center.

Kerry also said that the heavy water reactor will be converted so that it cannot be used for the development of a nuclear weapon.

Iran is required to ship all enrich uranium out of the country, and it is committed not to build any more heavy water reactors for at least 15 years.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced, “Our decision today will be the base for the start of drafting the Joint the Plan of Action (the final deal) which should end by the July 1 deadline.”

He said all sanctions will be lifted, but Kerry stated that this will happen in stages until a final agreement is made by midnight June 30.

One of the most interesting parts of the “key parameters” is that  some clauses may not be made public except to governments and Congress.

The key elements are inspections and access to Iran’s nuclear facilities, to which Kerry said Iran has agreed.

President Obama said in his remarks after the announcement of “key parameters” that he is maintained to the security of Israel and that he will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Iran will reduce the number of its centrifuges to around 6.000, including 5,000 at Natanz for industrial-scale enrichment and 1,000 at Fordo, but not for enrichment.

The kicker is Zarif’s statement that not everyone will understand the “key parameters” the same way. Fars News Agency reported::

He [Zarif] cautioned that the seven nation’s party to the nuclear talks might present today’s agreement in different ways as they see fit.

The same Foreign Minister Zarif said earlier today that “no agreement will be announced today,” a sure sign that something would indeed be announced, even it is called “key parameters.”

But Obama reassured the American people that although the emerging deal will not remove distrust between Iran and the United States, Iran is committed to using its nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

How does he know?

Because the Islamic Republic has supposedly issued a religious fatwa forbidding nuclear weapons.

The Washington Post reported a year and a half ago on whether the there is such fatwa or it is simply a statement:

Even if one believes the fatwa exists — and will not later be reversed — it clearly appears to have evolved over time. U.S. officials should be careful about saying the fatwa prohibits the development of nuclear weapons, as that is not especially clear anymore.

President Obama covered all the bases in his remarks at the White House,. He said he has spoken with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia and is looking forward to a lively debate” with Congress.

Tamar Group To Sell Gas To Egypt Through Same Old Pipeline Built For Gas Exports To Israel

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Published by Jewish Business News

A consortium of private, industrial, and commercial Egyptian companies will buy at least $1.2 billion of natural gas from Israel’s offshore Tamar field, through the very same pipeline Egypt had used to send gas to Israel.

On Wednesday, the Tamar partners announced a seven-year deal with Dolphinus Holdings, with a minimum 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas to be sold in the first three years.

But Reuters cites an energy source in Israel who said the deal is likely to be more than three times higher, as Egypt has been facing an energy crisis.

The gas will run through the underwater pipeline constructed almost 10 ago by East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), which executed the Egyptian-Israeli natural gas deal killed by the President Morsi government, and attacks on the pipeline by Salafi terrorists in the Sinai.

A lot of water ran through the River Nile since.

Texas-based Noble Energy is the field’s operator.

Chairman of Delek Drilling Yossi Abu, said the deal highlights Israel role as “an energy anchor for countries in the region” and that the deal will “radically change Israel’s geopolitical status.”

The Dolphinus deal is subject to regulatory and other approvals in Israel, Egypt and from the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG).

Israel to Export Gas to Egypt

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

The consortium that owns the huge off-shore Tamar natural gas field has signed a seven-year memorandum of understanding with the Egyptian Dolphinus Holdings to export of up to 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas to private Egyptian customers, Globes reported.

The deal is in addition to other sales by the owners of the Tamar and the Leviathan energy fields that have turned Israel into an energy exporter. Previously, Israel was dependent on Egypt for natural gas and had signed a long-term agreement with the regime of Hosni Mubarak. During and after the revolution that ended with his ouster and subsequent arrest and conviction for corruption.

Terrorists in the Sinai routinely blew up the pipeline through which gas flowed to Israel and Jordan.

Delek Drilling chairman and Avner CEO Gideon Tadmor, whose companies are part of the consortium, said, “The Tamar and Leviathan partnerships have so far signed a series of agreements designed to enable the supply of natural gas to the Palestinian Authority, to Jordan, and for export as liquid natural gas via the existing installations in Egypt. The MOU with Dolphinus is a further, important link in the series of agreements, allowing the supply of gas to the Egyptian domestic market as well. I have no doubt that these agreements will lead to a strengthening of Israel’s relations with its neighbors.”

The sale price of the gas will be dependent on the price of crude oil on the world market.

The Dolphinus Holding company reportedly represents large non-government industrial and commercial gas consumers.

The Leviathan consortium last month signed an agreement worth $15 billion with Jordan to export $45 billion worth of natural gas over a 15-year period.

Jordan has turned to Israel for gas because of the interruptions in the flow from Egypt.

In February, Tamar partners also announced an agreement to sell natural gas to Jordan through a new pipeline.

The exports of natural gas have played a major role in the increase of the value of the shekel until the shekel-dollar rate touched below 3.40 in the summer. It since has rebounded to nearly 3.75 shekels to the dollar because of reports of slower than expected growth on Israel, a cut in the interest rate and anticipation that the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank will raise the prime rate by early next year.

 

No Oil Drilling on Golan Heights, At Least For Now

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Afek Oil and Gas has been blocked from drilling for oil on the Golan Heights, at least for now.

The firm received a temporary injunction Tuesday at the High Court of Justice in response to a petition by Adam Teva V’Din, the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, and a group of local residents who opposed the drilling.

According to court papers, “the company is prohibited against building any facilities or conducting any ground-altering works within the perimeter of the territory defined in the license.”

The Northern Regional Planning and Building Committee had approved on September 11 a pilot plan for exploratory drilling in the Golan Heights, which was to start on September 28.

The area in question spanned some 396 square kilometers, from Katzrin in the north, extending southwards to allow the company to sink up to 10 exploratory wells, each taking up about 1.7 acres, or seven dunam. Company officials had no idea whether they would find oil in any of the exploratory sites, or not.

At this point it is not clear whether there will be a further appeal by the company.

Earlier this month, a committee voted in Jerusalem to block a pilot project in south-central Israel to check it out. An exploration that began in 2011 estimated that approximately 40 billion barrels of oil are sitting below the surface of the Ela Valley at a depth of approximately 200 to 400 meters.

After having started an initial exploration several years ago — one that was frozen in 2011 — the Jerusalem-based Israel Energy Initiatives firm wanted to move to a pilot project to determine its viability. The plan involved extracting a total of 500 barrels of oil — about two barrels per day — to see if the site was commercially viable.

The process that would be used involves a new technology never before used anywhere else in the world. It’s not “fracking,” which involves drilling for liquid oil. This involves converting the very rock itself into oil – a form of hydrocarbons — known as “oil shale.”

Israel is Energy Exporter in $15b Gas Deal to Jordan

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Israel became an energy producer for the first time today with the closure of a deal to export natural gas to Jordan from the mammoth Leviathan gas field.

Leviathan will become Jordan’s main supplier of natural gas in the coming years. Months of discussions in the Israeli government eventually ended earlier in the year with a decision that the country would be allowed to export 40 percent of its offshore natural gas reserves.

Noble Energy Inc., Delek Group Ltd, Avner Oil and Gas LP and Delek Drilling Limited Partnership and Ratio Oil Exploration were expected to sign a $15b Memorandum of Understanding today (Sept. 3, 2014) to export natural gas for the next 15 years to Jordan.

Israeli Minister of Natural Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom, and the U.S. State Department were both involved in the deal.

The Leviathan gas field is a large natural gas field located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea off Israel’s coastline, about 47 kilometers (29 miles) southwest of the Tamar gas field. It is located approximately 130 kilometers (81 miles) west of Haifa, in waters about 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) deep.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-is-new-energy-producer-in-15b-leviathan-gas-deal/2014/09/03/

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