Israeli gas will arrive in Egypt before the end of the year -El Molla
Egypt will begin receiving natural gas from Israel by the end of 2019, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said in an interview at the World Energy Congress yesterday, according to Bloomberg. Israel will initially ship some 200 mn scf of gas per day, an amount that will increase to 500 mn scf/d at some point in 2020, he said. The import of Israeli gas comes as part of the landmark USD 15 bn agreement between Alaa Arafa-led Dolphinus Holdings, Delek Drilling, and Noble Energy, which was signed last year.
Multilateralism to blame for delays? El Molla said that the multilateral nature of the gas export arrangement was the main reason for the process taking longer than planned, but insisted that export plans remain on track, according to Reuters. Trial shipments were originally supposed to come in March, with commercial sales beginning by the end of June. Another potential spanner in the works surfaced in May when Thailand’s PPT Energy — a stakeholder in the Egypt-Israel EMG gas pipeline — filed a USD 1 bn lawsuit against Egypt for failing to meet gas deliveries after 2011.
The pieces are slowly moving into place: One of the final export hurdles was removed this week when the operator of the EMG pipeline signed an agreement to use a terminal owned by Israel’s Europe Asia Pipeline Company (EAPC) to export the gas.
Damietta LNG plant will not open this quarter: El Molla said that the Damietta LNG plant will open before the end of 2019, rather than during 3Q as recently claimed by an anonymous industry source. Damietta will begin exporting 500 mcf/d of LNG, before increasing to 700 mcf in 2020.
New oil and gas exploration tender coming in 2020: El Molla also said yesterday that the ministry is planning a new oil and gas exploration tender in the western Mediterranean in 1Q 2020. Another tender covering 8-12 concessions in the Western Desert, Gulf of Suez and the Eastern Desert is expected by the end of 2019.