Noble Energy close to Egyptian LNG deal


The Noble and Delek partners in the Israeli Tamar field are close to signing an agreement with Union Fenosa for the supply of natural gas to the Damietta liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Egypt, according to reports from the international press.

The move comes despite the fact that the Damietta plant is run by ENI, which recently discovered an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet (tcf) offshore Egypt.

The newly discovered Zohr field will take some years to develop, while the Tamar field is already producing. Noble and Delek therefore want to fill in the gap in the meantime.

Referring to the Zohr discovery, Noble’s Chief Financial Officer Ken Fisher said during a conference call on Tuesday: “The reports of our demise are overstated … what we see is a significant amount of gas demand that’s unmet in the basin today and we continue to have very active engagement with customers.” He went on to say that the demand was coming from both LNG customers and in particular there was “very heavy interest” from industrial customers in Egypt.

“Neither of those customer groups are getting gas today, as all of the gas has been prioritised to domestic power, especially through the summer.” As regards finalising a deal on Leviathan and the regulatory delays in Israel, Fisher said that as soon as the government framework was signed off “we can go to contracting that gas”.

No mention of Cyprus

Noble’s discussions on the Eastern Mediterranean were entirely focused on Israel, with no mention of Cyprus.

Cyprus and Noble Energy are supposed to be in the final stages of agreeing a development plan for the Aphrodite field, which has an estimated 4.54 tcf.

Earlier this week Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held talks focusing on regional energy.

“The leaders are discussing how the discovery will now affect the region,” Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides told reporters in New York.