Oil and gas company Energean has taken a Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Karish North gas development on the border to Lebanon, offshore Israel, 21-months after the announcement of the discovery.
Karish North, partly contested by Lebanon, has certified 2P reserves of 32 Bcm of gas plus 34 million barrels of liquids (approximately 241 million barrels of oil equivalent in aggregate) as at 30 June 2020, Energean announced.
The discovery will be commercialized via a low-cost tie-back to the Energean Power FPSO, which will be just 5.4km away.
According to Energean, production from the first well at Karish North is expected to be up to 300 mmscf/d (approximately 3 Bcm/yr) and the first production is expected during 2H 2023.
Initial capital expenditure in the project is expected to be approximately $150 million, or $0.6/boe, and Energean estimates that the project will deliver IRRs in excess of 40 per cent.
New loan for Energean
On 13 January 2021, Energean signed an 18-month, $700 million term loan facility agreement with J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley.
The primary uses of the loan will be accelerating the development of Karish North, enabling the capital expenditure on the project to be undertaken in advance of first gas from Karish Main.
Following the first gas from Karish North, the overall Karish project well stock will be able to produce well in excess of the full 8 Bcm/yr capacity of the FPSO, retaining operational redundancy in the well stock therefore further enhancing overall project reliability.
Another use of the loan will be for the funding the $175 million up-front consideration for the acquisition of the minority interest in Energean Israel Limited, as announced on 30 December 2020, which becomes payable on transaction close, expected in 1Q 2021.
Additional uses of the loan are funding approximately $100 million of capital expenditure required to install the second oil train and second riser on the Energean Power FPSO.
This will increase the Energean Power FPSO liquids production capacity to approximately 40 kbopd (from 21 kbopd) and allow maximum gas production of 800 mmscf/d (approximately 8 Bcm/yr, from 6.5 Bcm/yr).
Both the oil train and the second riser are expected to become operational during 2022.
Funding 2022 drilling program in Israel
Further use of the loan will be for the offshore Israel exploration and appraisal drilling programme in early 2022, with up to five wells, including an appraisal of the potential oil rim that was identified as part of the Karish development drilling campaign plus exploration of further prospective gas and liquids volumes within the Karish lease.
It also includes Block 12, which is located between the Karish and Tanin leases, and is estimated to contain gross prospective recoverable resources in excess of 108 Bcm (3.8 Tcf), with the primary targets having geological chances of success ranging between 63 per cent and 79 per cent.
The first well is expected to target the 20 Bcm (0.7 Tcf) Athena prospect, for which the primary target (11 Bcm /0.4 Tcf) has a 70 per cent geological chance of success.
Success at Athena would significantly de-risk the remaining 88 Bcm (3.1 Tcf) of prospective resources in the block.
Energean noted that any discovery in that block would be prioritised over the development of Tanin due to lower capital expenditure investment (as compared to Tanin) and the absence of any seller royalties, unlike the Karish and Tanin leases as Block 12 was not part of the original Karish-Tanin acquisition.
The drilling program also includes additional prospects assessed to contain 102 Bcm (3.6 Tcf) of gross recoverable prospective resources, based on management estimates, in Energean Israel’s remaining exploration blocks.
Whilst total pre-production capex guidance for the Karish Main project remains at $1.7 billion plus the $140 million of deferred payments to TechnipFMC, the balance of the loan will provide further financial flexibility for Energean Israel Limited.
The loan will only be drawn to the extent necessitated and drawn amounts will attract a margin of 5.75 per cent, which steps up by 0.25 per cent every three months, with a maximum of 7 per cent.
On 13 January 2021, Energean also agreed with the existing lenders of its $1.45 billion project finance facility to extend the maturity by nine months, from December 2021 to September 2022.
Combined with the loan, the extension to the maturity date of the project finance facility provides Energean with the necessary time and flexibility to optimise its long-term capital structure. This is expected to take place in 2021, depending on market conditions.
Mathios Rigas, CEO of Energean, said: “I am delighted that we have taken Final Investment on Karish North, proving the value of the Energean Power FPSO as a quick and low-cost commercialisation route for our assets in Israel.
“We are also increasing the liquid processing capacity of our FPSO to process the additional volumes we discovered for a minimal incremental cost”.