Egypt’s Oil Ministry announces names of Red Sea bid bid round winners:
Oil Ministry announces Red Sea bid round results: The Oil Ministry has awarded oil and gas exploration concessions to each of Chevron, Shell, and the UAE’s Mubadala in a bid round for blocks off the Red Sea coast, the ministry said in a statement (pdf). One block went to Chevron, another to Shell, and a third jointly to Mudabala and Shell. The total exploration area is close to 10k sqm, and will require a minimum investment of USD 327 mn that could increase to several bns in the development phase if discoveries are made. Reuters also took note of the story.
Background: The South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope) launched last March a tender for 10 oil and gas exploration blocks off the Red Sea coast. This was the first time oil and gas majors get the chance to tap the area, which earlier seismic scans have revealed has a high probability of seeing natural gas discoveries — particularly since its seafloor resembles the gas-rich terrain of neighboring Saudi Arabia. The tender was expected back in December but was delayed just long enough to take place under new production sharing contracts that took effect earlier this year.
Shell Egypt looking to liquefy Cypriot gas domestically: Shell Egypt is looking into potentially importing natural gas from Cyprus and liquefying it at one of Egypt’s liquefaction facilities, Deputy Chairman Moataz Darwish tells Al Mal. Darwish was otherwise tight-lipped on the details of the plan, including the expected investment value and timeline, but reminded the newspaper that Shell holds 35% of Cyprus’ Aphrodite gas field. Egypt and Cyprus had signed in September last year a USD 1 bn agreement to build a natural gas pipeline that will allow gas from Aphrodite to be transported to Egypt’s liquefaction facilities at Idku and Damietta, and re-exported as liquefied natural gas.
On a related note, it now costs less to use the national gas grid: The Gas Regulatory Authority cut the fees for using the National Gas Network by about USD 0.09 cents, to USD 0.29 per mmbtu, down from USD 0.38, according to Al Shorouk.