Oil Minister: Egypt to launch LNG tender early 2018

Egypt will hold a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) tender in early 2018 to cover demand for the second quarter of the year, but plans to stop imports by year-end, Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek El-Molla said this week, Kallanish Energy learns.

The North African nation’s goal to become a net gas exporter in 2019 is on track, as the supergiant gas field Zohr enters the final phase of development.

The offshore field operated, by Eni in partnership with BP and Rosneft, will come online soon, producing at an initial rate of 350 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d), El-Molla further stated.

Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg in Abu Dhabi, the Egyptian minister added the government continues working to attract new investments. A new regulatory authority is being set up to devise a plan to open Egypt’s gas market to competition.

The long-awaited law will allow private business to transport and trade gas using the country’s pipeline network and infrastructure.

“The executive regulations of the law will be ratified within the coming days,” El-Molla said, adding the government has also adopted a flexible gas-pricing formula to encourage investment and boost supply.

“In the past, we had a fixed price and there was no work at offshore fields,” he told Bloomberg. “When we started putting in a flexible formula, we have seen more encouraged and interested upstreamers, and hence we have been able to have lots of discoveries.”

With an estimated 850 billion cubic meters (Bcm) of gas in place, Zohr is a “game-changer” for Egypt, and its development shows “all multinationals that we can do extremely well when we talk about giant discoveries — big projects to be developed and brought onstream in a relatively very short period of time,” the official concluded.

Source: Kallanish Energy