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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Natural gas’

Israel Reaches Gas Deal with Noble Energy, Delek Ltd. Group

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Thursday the government has reached an agreement with developers of the nation’s largest natural gas field, Leviathan.

According to the agreement, there will be a ceiling on future sales to domestic firms and the consortium has committed to completing development of the gas field by 2020. It will be brought to the Cabinet for a vote on Sunday.

The agreement follows nearly a year of wrangling between regulatory agencies and the energy consortium between Texas-based Noble Energy, in which U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also owns shares, and Israel’s Delek Ltd.

The problems began when Antitrust Authority director-general Prof. David Gilo ruled last December that the gas sector must be restructured. The Authority accused the Noble Energy – Delek Ltd. group of forming an illegal monopoly, raising red flags for others who called on the state to nationalize its gas reserves.

As a result of the regulatory quagmire that followed, numerous talks that were in process with other countries stalled – and then stopped entirely – as other firms lost patience with Israeli bureaucratic snarls.

Deals that were pending with companies in Egypt, Spain and other countries are now questionable, placing what might otherwise have been a healthy new market for Israeli natural gas possibly on indefinite hold.

As the energy group pointed out to the government at the time, unless the companies who initially discovered the fields can recover their investment and also make a profit from their work, there will be no reason for them to continue to drill or explore further.

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.

Millionaire Geologist Langotsky to Knesset Committee: Don’t Sell Offshore Gas to Egypt – Are You Mad?

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

(JNi.media) The geologist behind Israel’s offshore natural gas field discoveries, Yossi Langotsky, told the Knesset Economic Committee on Monday, July 6, 2105, that “it is forbidden to export gas from the Tamar [gas field] to Egypt before the Leviathan [field] is connected —are you mad?”

The committee is reviewing the government’s proposal on a deal with the gas producers. The Knesset appears split between those urging the signing of a mediocre deal, giving the producers some advantages, but at the same time ending the 5-year delay in getting the off-shore energy over to Israel—and those who insist the gas producers could make a better offer that would result in significantly reducing the average Israeli’s energy costs.

Langotsky conceded that “all the security experts have decided that, for security reasons, we should export the gas to Egypt.”

“But it is stupidity, and national irresponsibility,” he protested, citing Former Shell president John Hofmeister, who warned in a Globes interview in June that “for the sake of Israel’s security, it should keep the natural gas it has found in the country, and convert everything it can to operate on gas.”

Hofmeister cautioned further: “Israel has many enemies and no oil. What will happen if an embargo imposed on it? If you think someone will come to the rescue, think again.”

Langotsky told the committee that the gas companies “are inherently thuggish. They want to maximize profits, it is their goal. But the state of Israel? Are you stupid? If, God forbid, something should happen to the Tamar field, or the pipe—sure, there will be a commission of inquiry to decide who’s at fault, but what good would it do us? ”

Langotsky, who for more than 10 years has been the driving force behind the off shore gas project, has been drilling the Promised Land for more than 40 years. And he knows all about thuggish gas companies — he spent several years fighting in arbitration to finally get his share in the discovery, in late 2011, about $100 million, give or take.

Tel Aviv Crowd Protests Israeli Government Gas Deal

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

You know that summer has truly returned in Israel when thousands gather in Tel Aviv to protest consumer issues.

On Saturday night, the heat was on with a demonstration against the government’s latest deal to allow the Noble Energy – Delek Ltd. Group to move ahead with its development of Israel’s offshore gas fields.

Mor Gilboa, director of the Green Course environmental group and one of the organizers of the protest, contended that the deal “leaves us with exaggerated and outrageous natural gas prices that will not contribute to lowering the cost of living, to development of a strong local industry, to development of industry in the periphery, to reducing pollution.”

Zionist Union MK Professor Yossi Yona, a member of the opposition faction, added, “The current plan does not serve the public interest. [It] concentrates economic power in the hands of interested parties, among them foreign bodies, which means a strategic threat to Israel’s sovereignty.”

But on Friday before the protest, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denied allegations he was aiding and abetting the group in retaining power as a monopoly. Rather, he said, he was working to ensure the deal would bring prosperity to Israelis.

“I work for you, for the security of Israel and the welfare of all of its citizens,” Netanyahu wrote in a post on his Facebook page. He vowed in the post to keep his campaign promise to lower the cost of living using the country’s natural resources – including the natural gas that would come from the deal being negotiated with the group responsible for discovering and developing the Leviathan, Tamar and other gas fields in Israel’s Mediterranean waters.

Having discovered and begun the expensive process of developing the gas reservoirs, however, the two firms – Texas-based Noble Energy, and Israel-based Delek – have said they need to see a worthwhile return on the investment in order to continue the process.

The group was targeted last year by the Israeli Antitrust Authority for holding a monopoly on natural gas development in Israel, paralyzing the energy industry.

After months of uncertainty, Israel’s political-security cabinet put an end to the haggling on Thursday, unanimously approving a new compromise deal to allow the group to advance development of the fields.

The deal will allow the group to retain control over Leviathan, the world’s largest offshore discovery of natural gas in the past decade, among other concessions.

US Secy of State Kerry is Shareholder in Noble Energy’s Israeli Gas Group

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

An emerging compromise between the government and the natural gas group that discovered Israel’s offshore reservoirs is being discussed by the political-security cabinet Thursday (June 25) just as news is revealed the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is one of the shareholders in Noble Energy.

In a 2013 declaration of assets published on opensecrets.org, Kerry’s shares in Noble Energy totaled an estimated $500,000 to $1 million.

The revelation comes as the cabinet mulls a compromise that would eliminate the need to break up the energy group formed by Noble Energy and Delek, Ltd.

Also on the table is the issue of what will happen with gas agreements Israel has with customers in Egypt if this issue is not sorted out quickly. A regulatory quagmire has stalled the process of setting up a pipeline to supply the gas from Leviathan to the British Gas liquefaction facility at Idku, Egypt.

Last June, the Leviathan partners had signed a letter of intent with BG in a $30 billion deal to supply 105 BCM of gas to the facility for 15 years. One sixth of the reservoir’s gas field would be exported in the deal, which is designed to make its development worthwhile.

In May 2014, the Tamar partners had signed a letter of intent with Spanish company Union Fenosa, which has a gas liquefaction facility in Damietta, Egypt. The Tamar group would supply the facility in Damietta with 70 BCM over 15 years, a deal worth nearly $20 billion. Union Fenosa Fenosa would pay for a gas pipeline to connect the Tamar reservoir to the Egyptian facility.

But Israel’s infamous snarl of political red tape got in the way, and everything came to a halt.

Last December, Israel Antitrust Authority director-general Prof. David Gilo ruled the gas sector must be restructured. Israel’s Antitrust Authority accused the Noble Energy – Delek Ltd. group of forming an illegal monopoly, raising red flags for others who called on the state to nationalize its gas reserves.

As a result of the regulatory quagmire, negotiations with Union Fenosa stalled – and then stopped. A senior company executive told Globes the firm has continued to hold talks with the Tamar group, but said “the situation between us and the Tamar partners is complicated and difficult. The negotiations between us have reached an impasse.”

Since Egypt does not have infinite patience or time to wait for gas to supply its local economy, it is now exploring other options. According to a report by Ernst & Young, it appears likely that Royal Dutch Shell will sell gas to the British Gas liquefaction facility in Idku. Another possible option is the Aphrodite reservoir in Cyprus.

Likewise, Jordan – which also is in process of negotiating a contract to import gas from Israel – has no time to waste in obtaining affordable natural gas for her citizens. She, too, is now seeking other alternatives thanks to Israeli red tape and political games. One possibility under discussion is the Gaza marine reservoir.

If that happens, Israel’s nascent gas export industry will drown.

Last December (2014), Kerry spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an effort to help resolve the issue. At the time, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said in a statement, “We continue to engage and we support all parties to move forward with the natural gas deal signed between Noble Energy and entities in Jordan and Egypt. We strongly believe that these deals would enhance energy security in the region.”

Since that time, Netanyahu appointed National Economic Council chairman Eugene Kandel to try to reach a compromise solution.

The energy group has been negotiating with the government ever since. The group hopes to continue operating as is, pointing out that unless the companies can make a profit, there will be no reason for them to explore or drill.

Terrorists Blow Up Gas Pipeline in Sinai.

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Unidentified terrorists blew up the natural gas pipeline in the Sinai once again on Sunday morning, cutting off supplies to factories.

The Islamic State ISIS) and ISIS-linked terrorists have made inroads in the Sinai, where the Egyptian regime has lost hundreds of soldiers and policemen in failed attempts to maintain stability in the region.

Egyptian media have reported that the ISIS branch in the Sinai “threatened to strike the Eilat Port, following coordination with Islamic State’s wing in Gaza,” where Hamas is trying to retain control.

The Islamic State also has made inroads in Asia as its threat to expand its radical Islamic terrorist empire becomes more real.

Sinai Bedouin and  the Egyptian government never have been on good terms with each other, but since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, accelerated with President Barack Obama’s support of the Arab Spring rebellion in 2012, terrorists have staked out most of the peninsula.

President Barack Obama might remain in the White House long enough to wish for the days of Mubarak.

EMG Protesting Tamar ‘Reverse Flow’ To Egypt Story, Says Quoted Costs Unrealistic

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News

The attorneys for East Mediterranean Gas SA (EMG) have sent a stern letter of protest to the Tamar natural gas reservoir owners—Noble Energy Mediterranean Ltd., Isramco Negev 2 Limited Partnership, Dor Gas Exploration Limited Partnership, Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership, Delek Drilling Limited Partnership—and to the press, protesting the publication of the Tamar reservoir partners agreements with Dolphinus Holdings Limited on the supply of gas to Egypt through EMG’s pipeline.

The attorney, Niv Sever, states that EMG was “surprised, once again, to read in the press about an agreement assuming the use of its pipeline for ‘reverse flow’ of gas between the Israeli Tamar Reservoir partners and Dolphinus Holdings Limited.”

In no uncertain words and in fluent Lawyerese, the Tamar partners, as well as the press, are warned that “EMG strongly protests the repeated unauthorized use of its name, targeted, so it seems, to capitalize on its assets.”

Apparently, EMG, despite its being the owner and operator of the gas pieline whose flow is to be reversed under the new deal, “is not a party to the reported deal and was not included in such negotiations. To avoid any doubt, there are no discussions held between EMG and Dolphinus on such a transaction and there have been no negotiations held in the past.”

Sever adds that, even if his client, EMG, were to permit this unauthorized use of their pipeline, “the reported up-front costs of such an operation are unrealistic for a pipeline that has been out of operation for several years.”

Apparently, when a pipeline is dipped in seawater for several years unattended, you can’t just turn it on and expect it to start reverse flowing stuff.

Or, as Sever puts it: “future operation to transport the reported interruptible quantities of gas for the reported duration would not be economical as far as EMG is concerned.”

“As you must be aware, Egypt has often been reported to impose three determinants for any reverse flow deal,” Sever continues, “approval of the Egyptian government, creation of added value for Egypt, and resolution of the pending international arbitration cases between EMG and its shareholders and Egypt.”

Alas, EMG’s attorney explains, “the positions taken by Egypt in those cases to date, as well as existing Egyptian law restrictions, preclude, at present, any agreement by EMG to contract use of its pipeline for reverse flow on any terms.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/emg-protesting-tamar-reverse-flow-to-egypt-story-says-quoted-costs-unrealistic/2015/03/23/

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