ExxonMobil, Qatar Energy take another block off Cyprus

  • Market: Crude oil, Natural gas
  • 12/02/21

Cyprus has awarded ExxonMobil and state-owned Qatar Energy the rights to explore for oil and gas in the country's offshore block 5 concession southwest of the island.

Cyprus' energy ministry said the award was made after winning the approval of the Cypriot cabinet. ExxonMobil will take a 60pc stake in the block, and Qatar Energy the remaining 40pc. Block 5 lies adjacent to block 10, which ExxonMobil and Qatar Energy also hold the exploration rights for.

ExxonMobil told Argus last month that it is planning to restart drilling activities in block 10 in December to confirm the extent of a large gas discovery that the consortium made in early 2019. At the time, the companies estimated that the Glafcos discovery could hold as much as 5 trillion-8 trillion ft³ (142bn-226bn m³) of gas.

The companies were due to carry out appraisal drilling at the block in 2020 but ExxonMobil decided to defer this and other exploration activities as part of a company-wide plan to reduce capital expenditure amid the Covid-induced economic downturn.

Block 10 was the most contested asset on offer in Cyprus' third offshore licensing round because it borders Egypt's Shorouk concession, where Italy's Eni discovered the 850bn m³ Zohr gas field in 2015, the largest discovery to date in the eastern Mediterranean. The block is also located west of the 113bn-142bn m³ Aphrodite gas field in block 12 and is adjacent to block 6, where Eni made the 170bn m³ Calypso discovery in February 2018.


Sharelinkedin-sharetwitter-sharefacebook-shareemail-share

Related news posts

Argus illuminates the markets by putting a lens on the areas that matter most to you. The market news and commentary we publish reveals vital insights that enable you to make stronger, well-informed decisions. Explore a selection of news stories related to this one.

News
02/27/24

Japan eyes potential of summer power demand: Correction

Japan eyes potential of summer power demand: Correction

Corrects nuclear generation forecasts in paragraph 3 Tokyo, 27 February (Argus) — Japan faces potential similar consumption of thermal power generation fuels this summer with nuclear availability and forecast temperatures mostly in line with a year earlier. The Japan Meteorological Agency forecasts a 50-70pc probability of temperatures during June-August 2024 rising above the 30-year average in all parts of Japan. Average temperatures in Japan's major cities, such as Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, during June-August 2023 were higher than the long-term average. This implies that the country is likely to face similar summer temperatures as last year. Nuclear power output is projected to rise slightly in summer from a year earlier. The operating capacity of nuclear power plants is forecast at an average of 9,595MW during June-August, while average actual operating capacity was 9,563MW in the same period in 2023, according to Argus calculations based on data from Japan's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy and notices on the Japan Electric Power Exchange website. Hotter weather across the country in 2023 failed to lift thermal fuel demand, with power demand in Japan's 10 service areas averaging 104.3GW for June-August, down by 1.2pc from the same period a year earlier, according to nationwide transmission system operator the Organisation for Cross-regional Co-ordination of Transmission Operators. The rainy season normally cuts solar output. But sunlight hours were unusually longer in 2023 compared with 2022, which increased solar output and helped curb thermal generation. Continued energy saving efforts also helped to cut electricity use. Japan's LNG consumption for power generation totalled 9.8mn t during June-August 2023, according to the trade and industry ministry. Coal use totalled 26.5mn t, while oil consumption — including fuel oil, diesel and crude — was 57,651 b/d. LPG use was 6,014t. By Nanami Oki and Reina Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Read More
News

Venezuela politician wants continued US pressure


02/26/24
News
02/26/24

Venezuela politician wants continued US pressure

Washington, 26 February (Argus) — Venezuelan opposition politician and would-be presidential candidate Maria Corina Machado is arguing in favor of continued US economic and political pressure to force Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro to hold an election that he could lose. Machado, who overwhelmingly won an opposition primary last year to run in a presidential election expected to be held later in 2024, is barred from taking part in the Venezuelan election. The US has made her ability to participate in the contest a key condition for extending temporary sanctions relief for Venezuela's oil sector beyond 18 April. "We need to make the Maduro regime understand that he has only two options," either comply with the US-endorsed agreement to hold free and fair elections or walking away from that deal and facing "enormous internal pressure and international isolation," Machado said today in a virtual appearance before Washington think tank the Atlantic Council. Machado has recently made a number of virtual appearances at multiple Washington-based events, including before a House of Representatives panel. Machado would not explicitly support the snapback of US sanctions and suggested, without providing details, that there may be other ways to economically pressure the Maduro government. "It is time for the international actors that have been supporting the Barbados agreement to make Maduro understand" that he could not break an agreement with the opposition without consequences, Machado said. Machado also swatted away suggestions that she could step aside as the main opposition candidate in favor of a candidate cleared to run by the government. "The regime at this moment will only accept someone that they know in advance, without doubt, that they will defeat," she said. The opposition has complained that the Maduro government has partially violated terms of the agreement reached in Barbados in October to partially lift US sanctions by continuing the ban on Machado and by an intense anti-opposition crackdown that began four weeks ago. The government is trying to walk away from the agreement because it realized that "it has totally lost its social base," according to Machado. But Machado insisted that it is still possible to compel Maduro to hold an open election which he could lose and step down. The key is to make Maduro and his close advisers "understand that the situation is unsustainable if he goes through this path of absolute repression and discharging all the agreements signed so far, and at the same time that if he doesn't, then there will be a path with lower costs." Other observers do not see a fair election as a possibility under Maduro. "It is my personal opinion that Maduro will never comply with any agreement that would lead to his involuntary departure from power," former US ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield said during a recent panel discussion hosted by Washington, DC-based think-tank the Wilson Center. Maduro will postpone any planned election if he is unable to control the outcome, Brownfield said. The US administration's decision to temporary lift Venezuela sanctions "was not built on some kind of enduring faith in the implementation of the agreement — it was built on verification," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said earlier this month. When the 18 April deadline expires, "we will see, at that point, where we are with respect to the Maduro regime following through on its commitments, and then we'll make our determinations about how we proceed from there," Sullivan said. By Haik Gugarats Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Germany passes draft carbon management strategy


02/26/24
News
02/26/24

Germany passes draft carbon management strategy

Berlin, 26 February (Argus) — Germany's economy and climate ministry today proposed legal changes that will enable the deployment of carbon capture and storage or use (CCS/CCU) and the transport and offshore storage of carbon in the country, along with the possibility of applying carbon capture to gas-fired power plants. Federal minister of economic affairs and climate action Robert Habeck presented draft "key points" for a future carbon management strategy, along with a draft amendment to the country's carbon storage law. Habeck stressed that public support for CCS/CCU will be "focused" on emissions that are difficult or impossible to avoid. Germany's government will also ratify the amendment to the London Protocol , enabling the export of CO2, Habeck said. Storing carbon will be permitted in Germany's offshore zone with the exception of protected areas. This will enable Germany to "catch up" with its European neighbours, such as Norway. "In this way, we face the responsibility instead of shifting it to others," Habeck said. But permanent carbon storage onshore will remain banned. The application of CCS to gas-fired power plants was already mentioned as a possibility in the government's draft power plant strategy, to the surprise of observers. Environmental group Germanwatch today slammed the move as having been carried out "evidently at the instigation of the [pro-business government coalition partner] FDP", adding that it might "destroy acceptance for any kind of CCS in Germany". CCS for coal-fired power generation will not be allowed. CCS for gas-fired plants will be permitted but not financially supported, the ministry said. Habeck called the decisions "pragmatic" and "responsible". Without CCS and CCU, Germany's climate targets will be "impossible to reach", he said, adding that "many industrialised countries are already making great strides in developing the technology". And CCS will be needed for the technical carbon sinks that will be necessary to achieve sufficient negative emissions. Natural sinks will not suffice, Habeck said. The ministry is working on a strategy for negative emissions that will be "a kind of sister strategy to the carbon management strategy". The draft carbon storage law will provide a legal framework for future CO2 pipeline infrastructure that is expected to be privately sponsored but within a state regulatory framework. The drafts will now be sent to other ministries, and hearings for the federal states and associations will follow. Germany plans to reach greenhouse gas neutrality in 2045. Recent documents from the European Commission detail a substantial role for carbon management for the EU to reach its climate targets. By Chloe Jardine Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Ice drops TTF front-month gas margin rate by 31pc


02/26/24
News
02/26/24

Ice drops TTF front-month gas margin rate by 31pc

London, 26 February (Argus) — The Intercontinental Exchange (Ice) has dropped its margin requirements for trading the Dutch TTF front-month contract by more than 31pc, effective from 26 February's gas day. The margin requirement fell to just under €5.96/MWh, from the €8.67/MWh that was applicable from 13 February and the lowest since July 2021 ( see graph ). Margins for contracts with later delivery periods also universally fell, by 12-29pc. This is the third consecutive drop in margin requirements in the past month. Requirements declined to €10.72/MWh, effective from 26 January , and then by €8.67/MWh from 13 February. This fall in the collateral needed to trade some of Europe's most liquid contracts tracks steady price falls at the TTF and other European markets. Argus assessed the TTF front-month contract at €23.30/MWh at the most recent close on 23 February, down from €27.94/MWh on 26 January. The front-month price has decreased steadily since October last year as storage fill levels have remained above average and Europe has experienced its second consecutive mild winter. The Ice TTF front-month margin peaked at €80.973/MWh on 9-23 March 2022 and has been on a downward trajectory since that time. But it has remained volatile, moving broadly in tandem with gas prices. By Brendan A'Hearn ICE TTF FM margin requirement vs TTF FM price €/MWh Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

News

Liberty Steel targets Australian hydrogen, CCS deals


02/26/24
News
02/26/24

Liberty Steel targets Australian hydrogen, CCS deals

Sydney, 26 February (Argus) — UK-owned producer Liberty Steel has signed separate agreements with the South Australia (SA) state government and domestic independent Santos to respectively explore the use of hydrogen and discuss carbon capture and storage (CCS) opportunities for its Whyalla steel plant in SA. Liberty could become the first domestic third-party customer for the Santos-operated 1.7mn t/yr Moomba CCS project in SA's onshore Cooper basin, which is on track to start injection in mid-2024. Santos has secured finance for its $150mn share of the $220mn project, it said on 26 February, following an initial deal signed with Liberty over the weekend. Santos and Liberty will now enter discussions for a potential term natural gas supply deal that could include abated gas from Moomba. This could help reducing residual emissions from the Whyalla steelworks during a transition period, before the plant fully moves to green hydrogen once that is available at scale, Liberty's owner GFG Alliance said on 25 February. Liberty's separate agreement with the SA government, also signed on 25 February, is for potential supplies from the government's planned 250MW green hydrogen facility near Whyalla in the Spencer Gulf region. The SA government last October chose a consortium comprising Canadian-owned infrastructure group Atco and German firm Linde's subsidiary BOC as preferred contractors for the plant, which is expected to come on line by the end of 2025 . "Today's agreement gives us and our stakeholders confidence to ramp up our efforts and commitment to the production of our 4bn t of high-quality magnetite, the establishment of a state-of-the-art green iron and green steel plant which will ultimately be powered by renewable energy and green hydrogen," GFG Alliance chairman Sanjeev Gupta said. Liberty plans to build an electric arc furnace (EAF) at Whyalla , which will replace the existing coke ovens and blast furnace and lift steel production capacity to more than 1.5mn t/yr from 1mn t/yr. The company has received a A$63.2mn ($41.4mn) grant from the Australian federal government to support the purchase and installation of the EAF. It also has A$50mn committed by the SA government for use towards the EAF, pending approval. GFG Alliance also plans to produce 7.5mn t/yr of iron pellet from locally-sourced magnetite from 2030 in a direct reduced iron plant, which would initially use a mix of natural gas and green hydrogen as the reducing agent before fully transitioning to the latter. Santos is also targeting to offer CCS services from Moomba to reduce emissions from other hard-to-abate industries such as aluminium and cement, as well as from fuels like LNG, it said. Santos owns 66.7pc of Moomba with the balance controlled by Australian independent Beach Energy, which anticipates 30pc of its equity greenhouse gas emissions will be offset by the storage . By Juan Weik Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.