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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Did Eni pledge USD 3 bn in investments in Egypt? Plus: We could be exporting natural gas by year’s end, early 2019

INVESTMENT WATCH- Did Eni pledge USD 3 bn in investments in Egypt? Eni plans to allocate USD 3 bn in new investments in Egypt over “the coming period,” Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said, according to a purported statement from the Oil Ministry floating around in the local press on Thursday. The company’s investments in the fields of Nooros and Zohr now stood at USD 8.4 bn, Descalzi reportedly said during a sit down with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla.

Eni is also keen on exploring possible projects in renewable energy, Descalzi said in a meeting with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, according to an Ittihadiya statement. While the statement gave no detail, it is likely that Descalzi is speaking of building a 50 MW solar power plant in the Red Sea’s Abu Redis to sell power directly to consumers under an independent power producer (IPP) framework. Eni was one of five companies that had submitted proposals back in April to build under the IPP framework.

Mubadala enters Egypt with Zohr acquisition: Descalzi’s statements come a day after Eni finalized a 10% stake sale in the Shorouk concession, which holds the Zohr gas field, to the UAE’s Mubadala Petroleum, according to a statement from the Oil Ministry. The USD 934 mn agreement, which was signed by Eni in March, now sees Eni’s share through its JV with the Oil Ministry IEOC fall to 50%, with Rosneft holding a 30% and BP taking 10% alongside Mubadala’s 10%. More reading: Eni statement’s (pdf) on the transaction.

Meanwhile, Zohr has apparently led to a cancellation of two LNG cargoes: EGAS bought six LNG cargoes in an international tender won by Switzerland-based traders Trafigura, Vitol and Gunvor, trade sources told Reuters on Wednesday. Sources said the government likely cancelled two planned LNG cargoes as the Zohr gas field ramps up production to 1.75 bcf/d by August. That means LNG imports are just about done: Domestic production will be enough to cover local demand in Q3 of this year, El Molla told the press yesterday, according to Bloomberg, and there are no imports planned for Q4. Natural gas imports by 4Q18 / 1Q19? When we have natural gas surplus to domestic demand, Egypt will begin “compensating companies that have rights to operate the country’s LNG export terminals, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Union Fenosa SA,” according to the minister.

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