Egypt as the up-and-coming energy hub of the EastMed regional gas markets — plenty of gas, but where is it going?
12 March 2018, 4 - 8 PM CET
TUSIAD Avenue des Gaulois 13, Brussels 1040
We have had a number of meetings on the topic of EastMed gas at the Brussels Energy Club in recent years, with a particular focus on Israeli gas assets. Yet Egypt, with the discovery of the Zohr gas field still fresh in our minds, has the potential of becoming the "Turkmenistan" of the EastMed gas scene. That is, Turkmenistan in the sense that "we know that they have lots of gas, but little idea of how they intend to realize its full potential". Egypt was once a MENA gas producer of some acclaim, feeding molecules into the Arab gas pipeline and exporting to the neighbors (although in smaller volumes than Turkmenistan to its neighbors). We once even talked of a "peace pipeline" connecting Egypt to Israel. Yet all of this evaporated as spiralling population growth in Egypt, a so-called Arab Spring, as well as insufficient investment led to Cairo slipping from the ranks of the gas producers to a deficit country in terms of the gas supply.
The discovery of the Zohr field in the Egyptian waters of the Mediterranean by Italian oil giant ENI has seemingly once again turned the tables in Cairo's favour. The discovery also generated no shortage of excitement in Brussels — a major new gas discovery on Europe's doorstep to bolster our security of supply — all to the chagrin of our friends, the Russians. In came Rosneft, taking a piece of the pie. For those of you who may have missed it, amidst friendly discussions between Cairo and Moscow last year, Rosneft signed a deal with ENI to acquire a 30% stake in the Zohr field, worth an estimated $US1.125 billion. Then, earlier this month, we hear Benjamin Netanyahu haling Israel's Delek Drilling, which just announced a $US15 billion contract to supply Israeli gas to Egypt's Dolphin Energy over a period of 10 years.
Confused? Well, this is the gas business in the EastMed in 2018 and this is why we welcomed Dr Magdy Rady who came in from Cairo and elaborated on whether Egypt has become Turkmenistan or more likely Iran (plenty of gas but we continue to import occasionally) of the EastMed gas market.
Program March 12, 2018: 16.00 — 20.00:
Setting out the debate by Dr Marat Terterov, Initiator and Founder, Brussels Energy Club,
Presentation by Dr Magdy Rady starting at 16.30
With comments from Fabio Marchetti, Vice President for Government Affairs, ENI, Founding Member of the Brussels Energy Club
Roundtable discussion with meeting participants (NB: the Chatham House Rule will apply).
Independent Expert in Economic Affairs and Energy Policies
Former Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Economic Relations and International Cooperation, Egypt
Group Head of International Affairs in Generali