Natgas market regulator to officially begin issuing import permits
Natgas market deregulation gets in full swing as regulator to officially begin issuing import permits: The board of directors of the new natural gas market regulator approved that it begin issuing and revoking licenses for private sector natural gas industry players, according to an Oil Ministry statement. The regulator — established under the Natural Gas Act, which deregulated the market and opened it up to the private sector — will begin its work “in the coming period,” according to the statement. Natural gas companies are currently gathering the necessary paperwork to submit their requests for a license to distribute natural gas, ministry sources said, Al Shorouk reports.
So, when are we going to see the first import permit issued? We will likely see the first private sector import licenses issued by the end of 2018, sources added. Previous reports had said that the board would issue the first LNG import license to the private sector by the end of February, but we have yet to see any progress on that front. While it remains unclear which company will make the first draw, it is a safe assumption that it will likely go to Alaa Arafa’s Dolphinus Holdings, which had signed a USD 15 bn natural gas import agreement with Israel earlier this year. We had heard last year that EGAS gave BB Energy, Fleet Energy, and Qalaa Holdings’ TAQA Arabia preliminary approval on natural gas import licenses, which would need to be ratified by the new regulator.