Egypt aims to become key natural gas exporter
Since their discovery in 2015 by Italian energy company, Eni, Egypt’s vast reserves of natural gas have become a key element of its plan “to establish itself as a key energy exporter and revive its flagging economy”, according to a report by News24.
Former Egyptian oil minister, Osama Kamal, has confirmed that the country “has a plan to become a regional energy hub". This year, Cairo has signed exportation deals for natural gas with Israel, Cyprus, and Greece. In addition to cultivating a booming export industry, News24 reports that Egypt has “also been able to halt imports of liquified natural gas, which last year cost it some $220 million per month”.
“Egypt's budget deficit, which hit a record 103 percent of GDP in the financial year 2016-17, has since fallen to 93%”.
In September, Egypt and Cyprus signed a deal to create a partnership through which Cypriot-produced gas will be pumped via a new pipeline to Egypt for processing before being shipped to Europe. Similarly, in February, Egypt “inked an agreement to import gas from the Jewish state's Tamar and Leviathan reservoirs”. A disused pipeline connecting Ashkelon and Sinai has been purchased by a US-Israeli consortium. Osama Kamal said the deal “guarantees the protection of Egyptian interests”.
Ezzat Abdel Aziz, former president of the Egyptian Atomic Energy Agency, also praised the deal, calling them "of vital importance for Egypt", and that it would "confirm the strategic importance of [the country] and allow it to take advantage of its location between producing countries in the east and consuming countries of the West".
On November 13th, Hala Zawati, the Jordanian minister of energy and material resources, announced the country’s plan to increase its natural gas imports from Egypt, eventually using the country’s reserves to cover a third of its total demand.
According to reports by the Egypt Independent and Reuters, “Jordan began importing natural gas from Egypt two months ago but increasing imports significantly would depend on construction of a pipeline between Jordan and Iraq which has yet to be built”.
By 2019, Zawati estimated Jordan would consume 350M cubic feet of Egyptian gas per day. She continued that “we’ve had discussions with Iraq that started years ago. It was approved by the Jordanian cabinet, and now we are waiting for the Iraqi side to start working on the pipeline.”
Egypt’s goals for energy sector transformation are not limited to its large natural gas reserves. The Lebanon Daily Star reports that “petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Tarek al-Molla recently announced a deal to expand the Midor refinery in the Egyptian capital to boost its output by some 60 percent”, as well as the confirmation that “the new Mostorod refinery in northern Cairo is set to produce 4.4 million tons of petroleum products a year after it comes online by next May”.
In addition to eliminating its natural gas imports, Egypt plans to use these new projects to reduce its dependence on petrochemical imports, which “last year cost it some $5.2B”.
Global Offshore rebrands Enelift and invests in global hubs
Global Offshore has rebranded Enelift and will invest "a seven-figure sum" in establishing new support hubs in Houston, Dubai, Singapore, Perth and the Caspian during the next six months.
The investment will cover oil, gas and renewables, mainly concentrating on manufacturing capability with associated R&D, as well as in stock held in the hubs.
The company’s flagship Hinge Lok technology provides aluminium, non-welded light weight transportation cradle for casing and tubing. Enelift now plans to enhance its offering by augmenting its existing solutions with robotics and remote operational and training technology, which will reduce manpower for handling offshore equipment that is transported and stored using the Hinge Lok system.
Enelift is partnering with "a Japanese robotics company" and the technology will be trialed with "a Norwegian operator on a Norwegian drilling rig", according to a statement.
Operating from its bases in Aberdeen, UK and Esbjerg, Enelift was founded by 35-year industry veteran and Managing Director Paul Brebner 10 years ago to offer the offshore energy industries safe, reliable and efficient storage and transportation of equipment.
The expansion plans are bolstered by the appointment of Jim Clark of the Craigendarroch Group to Chairman, and Adam Maitland to Non-Executive Director. Maitland is the Managing Director of Hutcheon Mearns IF, and brings his wealth of expertise in the field of corporate finance.
Brebner said Enelift may be a new name in the market, but the experience it brings is "industry renowned".
"Our solutions are underpinned by safety that enables inefficiencies and their associated costs to be eradicated – meaning operational personnel can focus doing what they do best, safely. We remain committed to providing the safest storage and transportation solutions for equipment in the sector as we grow our global operations," he said.
Clark said the market is changing and its solutions fully support customers’ economic and safety aspirations.
"We are very well placed to take full advantage of increasing opportunities in the Middle East, Africa, Far East and Americas. Safety is our absolute commitment to our customers and our support hubs will facilitate this. Aligning our identity to our entire offering ensures that we will drive our expansion through new products and global support sites across the rest of this year."