Back to the complete issue
Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Natural Gas Act executive regs coming in days; talks with Aramco on refining in Egypt are underway

LEGISLATION WATCH- The executive regulations of the Natural Gas Act are coming in days, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday. The long-awaited regs would effectively open the door for the private sector to import, produce, and distribute gas, turning the state into a regulator of the national gas grid. Among its responsibilities will be to issue licences to import natural gas. Four unnamed private firms have already submitted requests to EGAS for preliminary approval on their import licenses. EGAS had reportedly approved natural gas import licenses in August for Fleet Energy, BB Energy, and Qalaa Holding’s TAQA Arabia following the issuance of the Natural Gas Act, effectively opening the market to competition.

El Molla also elaborated on plans to cut state LNG imports by 2018, explaining that the move was a result of the giant Zohr gasfield. The government will issue another tender for LNG in early 2018 to cover needs for the second quarter, and it plans to stop importing the fuel by the end of next year, El-Molla said. EGAS had issued a tender for 12 LNG shipments for delivery in 1Q2018.

El Molla confirmed that initial negotiations have taken place with Saudi Aramco to refine oil in Egypt, according to Reuters. El Molla had told Hona El Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi last night that the two sides are hoping to begin refining on a trial basis in Egypt in the beginning of 2018. This appears to contradict reports we noted over the past few months that agreements have already been signed. Al Borsa had reported that Aramco signed an agreement that will see it refine some of its crude through the Middle East Oil Refinery (MIDOR). This follows other reports that Aramco had agreed to a plan last month to ship crude through the SUMED pipeline and use Sidi Kerir as a center for exporting refined output to Europe.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.