Category Archives: Oil and Gas industry// L’industrie du Pétrole et du Gaz

Cyprus ,Israel , Lebanon and Egypt’s Natural Gas Puzzle Update: Regional risks at stake


Some Important Points:

  • Cyprus and Egypt must be very careful as a member of the EU the first and an Arab state the latter when they sign bilateral agreements with Israel. On the one hand, funds from natural gas reserves could fund further colonization and war regarding the Israelo-Palestinian conflict. Recently, Israel,has approved a further expansion of its colonial settlement enterprise in Occupied Palestine with thousands of new units to further deny the people of Palestine the right to freedom and self-determination. On the other hand, Cyprus could offer its assistance regarding the Israeli-Lebanon maritime dispute but the conflict is more deeper as these countries were involved into a war 10 years ago.
  • Turkey will always search to influence political happenings in the Near East. There is still the possibility on the table to transit the Natural Gas discoveries to Europe through a pipeline passing Turkey. Unfortunately, Turkey is an unstable country at the moment after last years’ failed-coup. The major risk is that Turkey cuts the gas suppy of this possible pipeline in order to put pressure for any political purpose.

Last year Eni discovered large offshore reserves at Zohr discovery off Egypt that could reach 850 billion cbm. The discovery of Zohr raised hopes that new reserves can be found near the island of Cyprus.

In November 2011 Turkey’s national oil company TPAO signed an accord with Shell for hydrocarbon exploration and production in the Mediterranean and southeastern Turkey.

To date, TPAO’s exploration activities have been focused on the gulf of Antalya, Iskenderun bay and Mersin bay in the eastern Mediterranean.

The American company Exxon Mobile, French Total, Italian Eni and Qatar Petroleum received contracts for studies of hydrocarbons in the waters near the island of Cyprus. Eni and Total, each with 50% share, received license to explore Block 6 in Cyprus offshore zone. The applicants selected in the third licensing round are the consortium of ENI and Total for Block 6, Eni for Block 8 and the consortium of ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum for Block 10.

cyprus oil and gas round 3
credit: Cyprus Mail

With the deal Eni has gained the right to explore an area of 2,215 sq km near the giant Zohr discovery off Egypt, which is not far from the listed blocks.

Drilling campaigns will start this year with an exploration well for Total in Block 11, which lies about six kilometres from the Zohr discovery. ENI will drill two wells in its previously acquired blocks (2, 3 and 9) and most probably in the new ones beginning of next year. ENI recently signed a farm-in agreement with Total, acquiring a 50 per cent participating interest in Block 11.

Continue reading Cyprus ,Israel , Lebanon and Egypt’s Natural Gas Puzzle Update: Regional risks at stake

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Iran & Oman common gas export pipeline project will now change route in order to avoid UAE’s waters


Reuters reported last week that Iran and Oman have agreed to alter the route of an underwater gas pipeline planned to ship Iranian gas to Oman in order to avoid territorial waters of the UAE, Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh , adding that the re-route would not have economic impact on the gas export project.

iran oman map

Français: L’Oman et l’Iran ont pris la décision la semaine dernière de changer le la route d’un pipeline à gaz sous-marin, lors de la planification d’opérations d’exportation  gazière en bloc, pour éviter des eaux contrôlées par les Émirats Arabes unis, le ministre de pétrole de l’Iran a déclaré  mardi après la réunion avec son homologue  omanais à Téhéran.

Le pipeline planifié connecterait les énormes réserves de gaz  de l’Iran avec des consommateurs omanais aussi bien qu’avec les usines de gaz naturel liquéfié (LNG)  en Oman qui pourrait ainsi  réexporter ces réserves  de gaz par la suite

Press TV added to this that Iran  expects to finalize talks over an ambitious project to export natural gas to Oman through a subsea pipeline in early March.  This new meeting is a part of a  general framework of an agreement signed in 2013 to export natural gas to Oman through a pipeline from under the Arabian Gulf seabed.

Based on an agreement signed in 2013, Iran will export 28 million cubic meters of gas to Oman per day for a period of 15 years through a pipeline that will go to the sultanate through the Persian Gulf.

Almost a third of the gas exported by Iran to Oman will be turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the sultanate’s Qalhat plant, and the rest will be consumed domestically.

Iran will accordingly use the LNG produced at Qalhat plant for exports to European and Asian markets. (Press TV)

Companies which are included in this project as France’s Total, Royal/Dutch Shell, South Korea’s Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), Germany’s Uniper and Japan’s Mitsui attended the bilateral meeting between Oman and Iran.

Nonetheless, the Iran-Oman gas pipeline will be more expensive than initially thought after the two countries agreed to alter the original route plan to avoid passing through UAE waters, reuters reported in the past, quoting an industry source in the know.

Oman is closer to Iran than the rest of the Persian Gulf states since it is separated from them by a rather craggy range of mountains, it also has a significant Baluch population which speak an Iranian language and has also been part of Iran in classical times

Today the Gulf countries, and especially Saudi Arabia, maintain very adverse relations with Iran. Other countries (i.e. Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain) in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) generally follow the Saudi lead when it comes to their relations with Iran and the regional policies. However, Oman is the only country that maintains somewhat friendly relations with Iran, reflecting a exception.

Oman’s cordial relations go back to the 1970s when the Shah regime supported the new Sultan Qaboos against the leftist rebels in Dhofar. Iran also sees Oman as an opening to the international markets. Oman did not support Iran’s regional adversaries as in the Iran-Iraq war and the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. Instead, it chose to mediate between Iran and its rivals in many occasions, the latest of which was the Nuclear agreement in 2015. While being part of the GCC, Oman refuses to transform it into the Gulf Union, it maintains a relatively strong economic and military relations with Iran. In the aftermath of the nuclear deal the relations will be even stronger between Iran and Oman.

Trade between Oman and Iran exceeded $1 billion by the end of October last year, according to  Dr Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Sultanate’s Minister of Commerce and Industry.(Times of Oman)

Credit Map: Shana.

Links:

  1. Will Fulton and Ariel Farrar-Wellman, “Oman-Iran Foreign Relations,” American Enterprise Institute Iran, Tracker, 21 July 2011, http://www.irantracker.org/foreign-relations/oman-iran-foreign-relations.
  2. Oman and Iran: friends with many benefits, Al-Monitor, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/oman-iran-friends-ties-gcc-disapproval-saudi.html
  3. Iran, Oman reaffirm gas export project, change pipeline route to avoid UAE, Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/iran-oman-gas-idUSL5N1FS2ZK.

  4. OMAN’S 2016 GEOPOLITICAL CHESSBOARD : A DISCREET ACTOR IN THE MIDDLE EAST

  5. IRAN, OMAN SIGN DEAL TO STUDY SUB-SEA GAS PIPELINE:TIMES OF OMAN