By Adrienne Blume
NICOSIA, Cyprus -- Gulf Publishing Companys
inaugural Eastern Mediterranean Gas Conference (EMGC) continued
on Tuesday with Day 1 of technical presentations.
The conference, which is taking place from April 810 at
the Hilton Cyprus, features speakers from top companies
operating in the region. These companies include Noble Energy
Inc., the largest operator in the region; as well as Hyperion
Systems Engineering Group, Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Co.,
Total E&P Research and Technology USA LLC and others.
EMGC media sponsors and partners include Deloitte Ltd., GS
Oil & Gas, KBR Inc., ABS, ConocoPhillips, Technip, DNV,
Radius Oceanic Communications Inc., Cyprus Telecommunications
Authority, European Rim Policy and Investment Council
(ERPIC) and others.
Tuesday highlights. During EMGCs Tuesday
technical program, executives from operating, service and technology companies active in the
region shared insight into development opportunities for this
exciting resource area. Speakers focused on the regional
implications and potential of the new energy resources.
Delegates from the Israeli and Cypriot governments, along with
industry executives, examined offshore oil and gas
opportunities and challenges for Cyprus, Israel and the EU as a
whole. Market potential, international impacts and LNG pricing
were also discussed.
The LNG question. Several speakers expressed the need
for up to three LNG export trains, with a total capacity of 15
million tons per year, to deliver Eastern Med gas to other European nations. However,
Cyprus Deputy Director of Energy Services for the
Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Constantinos
Xichilos, noted that early investments in liquefaction capacity
that will not be used immediately are not feasible.
Noble Energy Inc. and partner Woodside Petroleum Ltd. are
presently studying a possible LNG terminal site at Vasilikos in
Cyprus, which could host multiple trains when sufficient gas
reserves have been proven to warrant the expansion, Mr. Xichilos said.
Meanwhile, Israels former Minister of Energy and
National Infrastructure for the Ministry of Energy and Water
Resources, Joseph Paritzky, noted that relations with Turkey
should be mended, as the latter country is in need of a nearby
supply of gas. Regional governments need to decide where
the energy corridor will be and which countries it will
involve, Mr. Paritzky asserted.
take. Noble Energy Chairman and CEO Chuck Davidson
spoke at length during Tuesday mornings session,
The Impact of the New Energy Resource, about the
discoveries his company has made in the region so far, and the
implications these resources have for the Eastern Meds
The region is evolving into a major energy player in
the world, not only for countries in the region, but also for
the countries they will be working with, said Mr.
Davidson (pictured right). The CEO discussed
Noble Energys roots in the Eastern Med, highlighting the
discovery of the Mari-B field in 2000. Mari-B enabled the
export of gas to Israel for power generation, transforming many
coal-powered plants into cleaner, natural gas-fueled facilities.
Several smaller fields were brought online after Mari-B, and
then the massive Leviathan and Tamar fields were discovered in
the late 2000s and early 2010s, bringing Noble Energys
total natural gas resource estimate for the area to 35 trillion
cubic feet. Mr. Davidson noted that a third block is being
drilled in Cyprus, and a seventh prospect is being developed in
Israel, with the latter having an 85% chance of success.
The massive gas resources available in the Mediterranean
will provide enough clean, low-cost energy to displace all of
the fuel used by automobiles in Israel for 14 years, Mr.
Davidson noted. Additionally, the development of the Tamar
field will add 1% to Israels GDP in 2013 alone. Mr.
Davidson concluded his speech by asserting, We have to
work cooperatively with all of our partners, especially [the
regional] governments, to make the projects work.
The Israeli perspective. During the late morning
session on Resource Potential, AJM Deloitte Partner
for Energy and Resource Advisory Services, Robin Mann, noted
that Israel could be self-sufficient in gas by 2016. Gas from
the Tamar and Leviathan fields will supply power for the
countrys electricity needs, and excess gas from these
fields, as well as gas from blocks presently being developed
offshore Cyprus, could be sent as LNG to Asia or Europe.
Alternatively, the gas could be piped through an undersea
pipeline through Cyprus or Turkey and then onto Europe. Another option would be to
set up a floating LNG (FLNG) facility to process and transport
the gas from Tamar and Leviathan.
Emerging markets for the Eastern Med. The Tuesday
afternoon session featured presentations on the market for the
new resources, with executives from DNV, KBR Inc., and GE Oil
and Gas Turbomachinery offering perspectives on natural gas
mega-projects, including the feasibility and reliability of proposed LNG and FLNG
projects. Adi Karev, Global Head of
Oil and Gas for Deloitte Worldwide, also discussed the end of
oil index pricing and the future of LNG pricing around the
Concluding the afternoon technical session was a panel
discussion on the impact of the new energy resource. Panelist
Rony Halman (pictured right), founder and
Chairman of Israel Opportunity Oil & Gas Co./C.O. Cyprus
Opportunity Energy Public Co. Ltd., noted that oil discoveries
in the region could prove just as important as the new gas
Meanwhile, panelist Wafik Beydoun, President and CEO of
Total E&P Research and Technology USA LLC, discussed the
benefits of seismic technologies for exploring oil and gas
plays in the Eastern Med, as well as where such technologies
can be used with a high success rate. Technips Senior
Vice President of Gas Monetization, Philip Hagyard, also
discussed the LNG potential for the Eastern Meds gas
Tuesday evening gala. The day concluded with a
delicious and heavily-attended gala dinner at the Hilton Cyprus
sponsored by Deloitte Ltd. The dinner featured a keynote speech
by Noble Energys Chuck Davidson, who noted that the
Eastern Med gas resources would soon be moving to the export
stage, which would inevitably involve energy exchange with
Middle Eastern nations.
The work being done in the Eastern Med by Noble Energy and
its partners is about developing energy and resources,
but its also about creating jobs, Mr. Davidson
said. Noble Energy expects to sanction as many as five major
projects in 2013 alone, with two located in the core regions of
the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico and two that would hopefully
be located in Israel, according to Mr. Davidson. However,
the Noble CEO noted that Israeli export policies would largely
determine the pace at which the Leviathan and Tamar fields are
As for Cyprus, the country needs an offshore host to process
gas, Mr. Davidson said. The plan is to liquefy gas for export
to international markets, hopefully at the potential site at
Vasilikos. We need support from partners, Mr.
Davidson emphasized. These arent only
multi-billion-dollar projects; theyre multi-decade
projects. For such projects to be successful, the CEO
said, stable tax environment and investment climates
are needed, along with a streamlined infrastructure
It takes a lot of faith and confidence and
perseverance, and its not something that happens
overnight, Mr. Davidson said. Developing these projects requires a lot of
support from partners to make this happen.
After thanking Gulf Publishing Company for organizing EMGC,
Mr. Davidson concluded his speech by saying, Our goal is
to build on what weve done already, and we hope we can
look back a few years from now and say that we created a forum
for discussion [with this conference] for what is happening in
More from EMGC. Stay tuned this week for
additional coverage of Gulf Publishing Companys inaugural
Gas Conference in Cyprus.
Photo caption 1: Noble Energy Chairman and CEO
Chuck Davidson addresses attendees at Tuesday evenings
Deloitte-sponsored gala dinner.
Photo caption 2: Rony Halman of Israel Opportunity Oil &
Gas speaks about the importance of oil resources to the Eastern
Med during a Tuesday afternoon panel