Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Eastern Mediterranean News

Total Launches New Supercomputer

(Photo: Total)

Energy major Total said its new supercomputer - which has propelled it to a world ranking as the most powerful computer in the sector - will enable its geologists to find oil faster, cheaper and with a better success rate.The Pangea III computer build by IBM will help process complex seismic data in the search for hydrocarbons 10 times faster that before, Total said on Tuesday.The computing power of the company has been increased to 31.7 so-called 'petaflops' from 6.7 petaflops in 2016…

Greek PM May Seek Sanctions Against Turkey in Gas Row

© twixx / Adobe Stock

Greece and Cyprus will push their EU partners to penalize Turkey, including the possible option of sanctions, if Ankara is verified to have started drilling for gas west of Cyprus, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday.The discovery of lucrative energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean has drawn into sharper focus long-standing tensions between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot government.A Turkish drill ship has been anchored west of Cyprus since May.

Lebanon Announces Offshore Blocks

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Lebanon announced on Friday five offshore blocks to be included in its coming bidding round for energy exploration and production licences, including four along disputed maritime borders.Offshore energy development has been a central ambition for successive governments in cash-strapped Lebanon, but political paralysis has caused years of delays.Blocks 8 and 10 both include waters also claimed by Israel, while blocks 1 and 2 include waters claimed by Syria.

Petrobras to Bid in Israeli Gas Tender

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Photo: Wikimedia)

Israel's energy minister said on Sunday that Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras will take part in a tender to explore for oil and gas off Israel's shore, Reuters reports."It was agreed that Petrobras ... will take part in a process of oil and gas exploration in Israel," Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro began a visit to Israel.A previous auction elicited bids from only two groups of companies…

Turkey Set to Begin Drilling off Cyprus

(Photo: Turkish Petroleum International Company)

Turkey will begin drilling for oil and gas near Cyprus in coming days, state-owned news agency Anadolu reported Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu saying on Thursday, a move that could stoke tensions with neighboring Cyprus and Greece.Turkey and the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government have overlapping claims of jurisdiction for offshore oil and gas research in the eastern Mediterranean, a region thought to be rich in natural gas."In the coming days we will start drilling with two ships around Cyprus…

Turkey to Begin Drilling Around Cyprus

(Photo: TPIC)

Turkey will begin drilling for resources around Cyprus, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday, a move that could create tensions with neighboring Cyprus and Greece over ownership of natural resources.Attempts to tap gas and oil in the eastern Mediterranean have caused friction between Athens and Ankara.Turkey and the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government in Cyprus have overlapping claims of jurisdiction for offshore oil and gas research in the eastern Mediterranean…

Egypt Okays BP, Mubadala Acquisition of Stake in Eni's Noor Concession

Image: ENI

Egypt’s petroleum ministry has signed an agreement for UK Petroleum giant British Petroleum (BP) and UAE investment fund Mubadala to buy a 45 percent stake in the country's Noor offshore natural gas concesion in the Mediterannean from Italy’s Eni.In the concession, which is in participation with Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), Eni as operator through its subsidiary, IEOC, now holds a 40 percent interest. The other partners in the concession…

First Steel Cut for Karish and Tanin FPSO

(Image: Energean)

Energean Oil and Gas announced that first steel was cut on the Karish and Tanin floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel at the COSCO yard in Zhoushan, China, on Monday. The FPSO is scheduled to be delivered to the Karish field offshore Israel in late 2020, ahead of first production in the first quarter of 2021.The FPSO, which will be installed 90 kilometers offshore, will be the first FPSO to operate in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey Warns Against Energy Exploration with Greek Cypriot Govt

© twixx / Adobe Stock

Turkey warned energy companies on Sunday against working with the Greek Cypriot government in carrying out exploratory drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, saying such activities could damage regional stability.The eastern Mediterranean is believed to be rich in natural gas, and attempts to tap resources there have revived tensions between Turkey and Greece, which has a defense pact with the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government.Turkey…

Turkey Says Other Countries Cannot Drill In Its Waters

President Tayyip Erdogan deliveres a speech on November 4 (Photo: Office of President Tayyip Erdogan)

Turkey will not allow the exploitation of gas reserves in Turkish and north Cypriot waters of the eastern Mediterranean, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.The eastern Mediterranean is believed to be rich in natural gas, and attempts to tap resources there have revived tensions between Turkey and Greece, which has a defense protection pact with the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government.Turkey and Cyprus have overlapping claims of marine jurisdiction and both plan to carry out exploratory drills this year.

Israel Exploring Eastern Mediterranean

(Image: Israel Ministry of Energy)

Israel will tender off 19 new offshore blocks to oil and gas companies, its energy ministry said on Sunday, hoping to rebound from a disappointing bidding round a year ago.Israel discovered in 2009 that it had large reserves of natural gas off its Mediterranean coast.It will publish details of the tender by the end of the month and, about half a year later, choose the winning companies, said Udi Adiri, the ministry's director general.Last year's auction elicited bids from only two groups of companies…

Eni Strikes Deal with Total to Boost Algeria Operations

© bomboman / Adobe Stock

Italian oil major Eni said on Monday it had struck a deal to team up with French peer Total to look for oil and gas in Algeria and strengthen its position in the north African country.The two oil companies signed a deal with state-owned Algerian energy giant Sonatrach to pursue offshore exploration in the country while working together on exploration permits."Together with Sonatrach and Total, we will have the opportunity to explore the deep waters of the Algerian offshore…

Arkas Bunkering, Sumitomo Corporation in LNG Bunkering Deal

Pic: Arkas Holding S.A.

Arkas Bunkering have signed a protocol with Japan-based Sumitomo Corporation for the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as bunker fuel in Turkish and nearby seas. As environmentally-friendly buildings, vessels and fuels have become more popular than ever, new applications acting as reminders for both states and civil initiatives of their environmental responsibilities continue to emerge. With International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) global sulphur cap set to enter into force in 2020…

Energean asks Cyprus to Import Israeli Gas via New Pipeline

© suradech/ Adobe Stock

Energean is seeking approval from Cyprus for the Greek oil and gas firm to build a pipeline from its Israeli offshore gas fields and import 0.5 to 1 billion cubic metres of gas a year to the island, Energean's chief executive said on Thursday.Energean, which listed on London's main stock exchange this year, has committed $1.6 billion to the Karish and Tanin fields which have potential reserves of 2.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 32.8 million…

Lebanon Begins Offshore Oil & Gas Exploration

Lebanon's search for its first oil and gas reserves began on Tuesday after authorities approved an exploration plan submitted by a consortium of France's Total , Italy's Eni and Russia's Novatek. Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil also said in a televised statement that Lebanon hoped to launch a second offshore licensing round by the end of 2018 or early 2019. In February, Lebanon signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration and production agreements with the Total-Eni-Novatek consortium for offshore Blocks 4 and 9.

US Crude Hits Highest Since 2014

© R Carner / Adobe Stock

Oil prices jumped on Wednesday, hitting their highest in more than three years on Wednesday after Saudi Arabia said it intercepted missiles over Riyadh and U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russia of imminent military action in Syria.Both U.S. crude and global benchmark Brent traded at the highest levels since 2014 as geopolitical concerns overshadowed a surprise build in U.S. crude inventories."A bearish inventory report was quickly negated on word of intercepted rockets over Riyadh…

Brent at Three-Year High on Possible U.S. Syria Response

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © scanrail)

Rising U.S. output, inventories weigh, however. Oil hit its highest in more than three years on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to fire missiles at Syria in response to a suspected chemical attack last week. Some major airlines were re-routing flights on Wednesday after Europe's air traffic control agency warned aircraft flying in the eastern Mediterranean to exercise caution due to possible air strikes on Syria. Trump has criticised Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Exxon, Total, Repsol among bidders for oil exploration off Greece

Oil majors Exxon Mobil, Total and Repsol are among members of two consortia that have submitted bids to explore for oil and gas off Greece. Greece's oil and gas resources management company (HHRM) said on Monday that Exxon and Total, each with 40 percent stakes, and Hellenic Petroleum had jointly bid to explore off Crete, while Spain's Repsol and Hellenic Petroleum had submitted a joint bid for a block in the Ionian Sea. Greece launched the tenders…

Greece Greenlights Total, Edison O&G Exploration

Greece's parliament gave the go-ahead on Wednesday for companies including France's Total and Italy's Edison to explore for oil and gas in the west of the country. Licences for four blocks - one offshore and three on land - were awarded in 2016 but had to be ratified by parliament for exploration work to begin. Encouraged by recent large gas finds in the eastern Mediterranean, Greece is eager to attract investment in its energy sector as it tries to emerge from years of economic crisis.

Cyprus Accuses Turkey of Blocking Drillship Again

Cyprus accused Turkey on Friday of threatening to use force against a drillship chartered by Italy's Eni, in a standoff over hydrocarbons rights in the eastern Mediterranean. There was no immediate reaction from Turkey, which has vowed to prevent Greek Cypriots from exploring for oil or gas around the ethnically-split island and says some areas of Cyprus's offshore maritime zone fall under its jurisdiction. On Feb. 9, the Turkish navy on manoeuvres in the Mediterranean stopped the Saipem 12000 vessel on its way to drill for gas in the waters off Cyprus…