Mideast NOCs Take Up Positions in East Med

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Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (Adnoc) and QatarEnergy’s expansion in the hot East Mediterranean gas play brings strategic benefits to both companies as they pursue international upstream portfolios and strengthen geopolitical positions for rivals Qatar and the United Arab Emirates within the region and abroad. In its first international upstream foray, Adnoc is partnering with BP for a 50% stake in Israeli offshore gas producer NewMed Energy, giving Adnoc access to Israeli and Cypriot gas assets. If the deal closes, the UAE would be present offshore Egypt, Israel and Cyprus — through Adnoc and investment fund Mubadala. Meanwhile, QatarEnergy has recently added interests offshore Lebanon to a portfolio that already included Cyprus and Egypt. The region holds much promise with reserve estimates as high as 125 trillion cubic feet. But the East Med has yet to develop beyond a regional gas supplier and realize its potential as a global LNG juggernaut. If their $2 billion offer is successful, the Adnoc-BP joint venture would acquire 45% of the free float of NewMed Energy and another 5% of Israeli Delek Group’s stake for a total of 50% of NewMed, according to Adnoc. New Med’s assets include a 45% stake in the 22 Tcf Leviathan reservoir, where a Phase 2 development concept from operator Chevron is due by July, and a 30% interest in the 4 Tcf Aphrodite field offshore Cyprus, where it is partnered with Chevron (35%) and Shell (35%). The pair would also gain a minority interest in the former East Med Gas Corp. pipeline, which now flows Israeli gas from Ashkelon in Israel to El-Arish in Egypt.

Gas Supply, LNG Supply, Offshore Oil and Gas, Corporate Strategy , NOCs, Resource Access
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