Israel’s NewMed “leaning towards” floating LNG terminal over fresh pipeline to Egypt
Israel’s NewMed plans floating LNG expansion: Israel’s NewMed will likely build a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal to boost energy exports to Europe from its Leviathan gas field in Israel, NewMed CEO Yossi Abu told Reuters. NewMed — formerly Delek Drilling, a well-known partner in Egypt — had been mulling a pipeline that links Israeli fields to Egypt’s LNG terminals as an alternative to the floating terminal, as it considers different ways to expand its LNG fields and up exports to the continent.
The floating LNG terminal is “really where we are heading right now,” Abu told the newswire. The company is targeting an annual output of 21 bn cubic meters within this decade, Abu said. NewMed also plans to spend USD 550 mn on a pipeline between the wells and the gas platform at Leviathan to boost its capacity to 14 bcm from a current 12 bcm a year, Abu added.
Final decisions to come early next year: The company plans to “take an investment decision” early next year, Abu added.
NewMed still wants to grow its business here: “In 2023 we will significantly speed up Leviathan's expansion and entry into new markets, while strengthening the collaboration with our customers in Israel, Egypt and Jordan,” Abu said. NewMed sent just over a third of the 3 bcm that it pumped from Leviathan in 3Q 2022 to Egypt, according to its latest financial statement (pdf).
REFRESHER- Egypt and Israel signed a landmark gas export agreement in June to ramp up exports to the EU as it looks to phase out reliance on Russian fossil fuels. The agreement allows Israel to send more gas to Egypt’s LNG facilities for export to Europe.
In better news for our energy link-up with Israel: NewMed is hopeful its Capricorn Energy merger will go through. Talks with Capricorn Energy over its merger with NewMed are underway, and the transaction is expected to close in 1Q 2023, Abu said, downplaying recent objections from Capricorn Energy shareholders who threatened to block the transaction. Abu said he expected both companies’ shareholders to ultimately approve the merger.
REMEMBER- The Capricorn-NewMed merger would hand NewMed control of Capricorn’s assets in Egypt, paving the way for closer energy ties between Israel and Egypt and creating what the companies had described as a “MENA gas and energy champion.” That could boost Egyptian ambitions to take Russia’s place as one of Europe’s go-to energy suppliers.
ENI STARTS DRILLING IN EASTMED BLOCK
Italian oil giant Eni has started drilling the Thuraya prospect on its Northeast Arish block in the Mediterranean, according to a report by oil and gas newsletter MEES. The prospect is estimated to contain over 10 tn cubic feet of gas, according to a 2022 geological report — making it around a third the size of the supergiant Zohr field that turned Egypt into a net natural gas and LNG exporter in 2018. Thuraya was owned by Dana Gas until earlier this year, according to MEES.
Other energy stories worth mentioning this morning:
- H2 Industries is discussing offtake agreements for its waste-to-hydrogen facility, CEO Michael Stusch reportedly told Zawya. The USD 3 bn facility could produce 300k tons of hydrogen each year.
- Jordan is still in talks with Egypt over plans to double the capacity of its existing electricity link with the country, Jordanian Energy Minister Saleh Al Kharabsheh said. (Bloomberg Asharq | watch, runtime: 1:50)