Friday, October 30, 2015

Update On Egypt's Super-Giant Natural Gas Field -- October 30, 2015


Sunday, November 1, 2015: the giant natural gas field discovered off-shore Egypt may upend Mideast energy diplomacy, but it has already upended the Jewish energy minister: he resigned. His resignation clears the way for Israel to begin developing their own giant oil field found by Noble. This was the strangest story I had read in a long time -- how Obama-like decisions in Israel completed upended (to use that word again) Israelis oil and gas industry and potential financial windfall. AFP is reporting:
Israel's economy minister resigned on Sunday, opening the way for the government to greenlight a multibillion dollar gas deal with US energy giant Noble Energy, a statement from the Prime Minister's office said.
"Minister (Aryeh) Deri announced to me his intention to quit. In order to proceed with the (offshore gas) agreement the ministry will be transferred to me and I will give the greenlight," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
A major deal to exploit offshore gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean has been stuck for almost a year due to the objection of the country's anti-trust authority, which warned the agreement could give Noble and its Israeli partner Delek an effective monopoly.
Original Post
Previously reported; regular readers were aware of this some time ago. The New York Times points out the political side of the gas discovery in Egypt that threatens to upend Mideast energy diplomacy.
The company, using drilling rights from the Egyptian government, found what it called a “supergiant” natural gas field. It may be the largest discovery yet in the Mediterranean and is one of the world’s biggest new gas finds in years.
Eni will need to drill more wells to prove its claim that the field, which it calls Zohr, holds up to 30 trillion cubic feet of gas. That could be worth about $100 billion, even when taking into account current low energy prices. But the promise of Zohr — the Arabic word for noon — is already brightening the prospects of the Egyptian economy, which has been benighted by an energy shortage and years of political turmoil.
With a big new supply of natural gas, Egypt might be able to stop burning oil to generate electricity and start exporting the petroleum instead. New domestic supplies of natural gas would help conserve scarce foreign currency resources and might spur investment in gas-fired factories and electric power plants. And natural gas exports might follow.
But Egypt’s good fortune could come at the expense of its much richer neighbor. Eni’s trove could threaten Israel’s ambitions to tap its own giant offshore gas field, called Leviathan.
Israel is already self-sufficient in natural gas by dint of a smaller offshore field — Tamar, discovered in 2009 — that serves the country via pipeline. Noble Energy, an American company that operates Tamar for the Israeli government, discovered the bigger Leviathan field in Israeli waters in 2010. Leviathan has potential reserves far exceeding Israel’s own needs.
Encouraged by the Obama administration, Noble reached preliminary deals last year to export gas to both Egypt and Jordan, a move approved by Mr. Netanyahu as a way to earn m oney and strengthen ties with former enemies.
And just a few years ago, "they" said the world was running out of oil and running out of natural gas. 

Not so many "Peak Oil" sites on the web any more, I suppose. I don't know. I haven't checked.

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