Month August 2016

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Shell Announces New Natural Gas Discoveries In Egypt’s Western Desert

Royal Dutch Shell announced on Wednesday new natural gas discoveries in a concession area of north Alam El-Shawish in Egypt’s western desert.
The initial quantities discovered were estimated at about half a trillion cubic feet of gas with more possible reserves, Eden Murphy, chairman and CEO of Shell said in a statement.
The discovery could produce from 10 to 15 percent of the total production of Badr el-Din Petroleum company, which is a joint venture acting on behalf of the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Shell in production operations, Murphy added.
Shell owns the license of the entire area, which includes the well. Badr el-Din is expected to manage the operations.

Greece approves new renewable energy law

Greece’s parliament has approved a new law governing the renewable energies sector. The new law, which allows for feed-in premiums, competitive tenders and virtual net metering, comprises a significant rearrangement of the country’s energy sector.
According to the new policy, all types of new renewable energy plants connected to the grid after Jan. 1, 2016, need to participate in the energy market. Their compensation will consist of what they make in the power market plus a variable feed-in premium. The latter is the difference between a price depending on market variables (e.g., the system’s marginal price) and a set price decided via a competitive tender.
Hence comes the second new element in the new law. Starting on Jan. 1, 2017, the new scheme to approve new renewable energy capacity is based on competitive tenders. Following recommendations of the energy regulator, the Greek energy minister will be able to call on a tender for specific capacities and technologies.
In 2016, the country will run a pilot tender for solar PV plants only. The pilot tender, according to the law, will tender at least 40 MW of solar PV projects. Investors need to pay a 500-euro fee to Greece’s energy regulator to be allowed into the bidding process, while bids for PV farms larger than 10 MW will not be accepted. The date for the pilot tender will be announced at a later date.

Oman to build two major power plants

Oman plans to develop two major power plants by 2022 within the Main Interconnected System (MIS), which accounts for 90 per cent of the nation’s total electricity supply.
While a 800 megawatt (MW) independent power plant (IPP) is expected to come onstream in 2021, a mega project with a capacity of 2,700 MW is planned to be operational in 2022, said an Oman Daily Observer report.
The sultanate is expected to issue a request for qualifications (RfQ) for the new 800 MW IPP in the third quarter of this year.
A Request for Proposals (RfP) will be issued to the prequalified developers in Q1 2017, with an award envisioned in the third quarter of next year.
On the heels of that contract award, the company will commence work on the procurement of the proposed 2,700 MW plant.

India’s ONGC launches $15M fund to nurture new ideas for O&G industry

India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd. (ONGC) launched Sunday the ‘ONGC Start-up’ fund, with a value of $15 million (INR 1 billion), in conjunction with its Diamond Jubilee year to foster, nature and incubate new ideas for the oil and gas industry.
Under ‘ONGC Start-up’, which is in line with the government’s initiative ‘Start-up India’, the company will provide the entire support chain for start-ups, including seed capital, hand-holding, mentoring, market linkage and follow-ups. ONGC has set up a dedicated website for the initiative, which is intended to encourage fresh implementable ideas in the oil and gas sector.
ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Dinesh K Sarraf said Aug. 14 the initiative aims to promote entrepreneurship among younger Indians by creating an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of start-ups in the industry, which has a huge potential for technology-enabled ideas to mitigate the various critical challenges the sector faces.
ONGC encourages its employees to innovate and the firm has given awards to three young officers for their innovations. Rajendra Bhambhu and Deepak Naik have developed an innovative safety device for rigs that facilitates setting up of emergency brake to augment safety mechanism on drilling rigs, while Prajesh Chopra has created a unique dual SIM cellular router system that provides data connectivity at work-over rigs which reduces the hassle of frequent dismantling and reinstallation during rig transportation, resulting in saving time and money.

Petrofac, Tecnicas Reunidas likely to win Saudi Aramco deals

British oilfield services company Petrofac and Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas are likely to win contracts to build projects for state oil giant Saudi Aramco’s Uthmaniyah and Ras Tanura plants, industry sources said.
Tecnicas Reunidas is the lowest bidder to build units for a cleaner fuels project at Ras Tanura refinery, originally estimated to cost more than $2 billion, aimed at removing sulphur from refined oil products, the source said.
The project is part of a drive by the kingdom to meet stricter environmental standards in export markets.
Petrofac is the front-runner to build a gas treatment facility at Uthmaniyah gas plant, expected to cost around $600 million, the sources said.
The aim of the Uthmaniyah project is to recover ethane as well as propane and other natural gas liquids (NGL) from 1.4 billion standard cubic feet per day (scfd) of sales gas.
Uthmaniyah is one of the operating areas of Ghawar, the world’s largest onshore oilfield. The gas plant has a processing capacity of 2.5 billion scfd.
Saudi Arabia is building a number of gas plants to meet rising domestic gas demand. It has said its Fadhili, Midyan, and Wasit gas plants will add more than 5 billion scfd of non-associated gas processing capacity.

Eni restarts Val d’Agri oil production in southern Italy

12.08.2016|Oil&Gas Journal
Eni SPA is gradually restarting oil production connected with the Val d’Agri Oil Centre in Viggiano, Italy, which is the subject of a continuing investigation, the company said.
The resumption of production follows notification from a judge that the court lifted a seizure order on the plant in the southern part of the country. The National Mining Office for Hydrocarbons and Earth Resources of the Ministry of Economic Development also authorized the plant’s operation (OGJ Online, Aug. 1, 2016).
The field was closed in late March following the arrest of some Eni employees. The probe continues, but Eni said Aug. 12 it was “confident that it will be able to confirm the correctness of its actions.”
Eni reiterated that it will cooperate fully with the Court of Review while waiting on the outcome.
Executives said Eni used the downtime to carry out maintenance work at the oil field. Before the shutdown, the site produced 75,000 b/d, with most of that going to Eni. Royal Dutch Shell PLC also owns a stake in the field.

Egypt approves five oil and gas exploration deals

Egypt’s government has approved five oil and gas drilling and exploration agreements with foreign companies, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said on Wednesday.
Once an energy exporter, Egypt has turned into a net importer because of declining oil and gas production and increasing consumption. It is trying to speed up production at recent discoveries to fill its energy gap as soon as possible.
Four of the deals are offshore Mediterranean gas exploration and drilling agreements between Egypt’s state gas board EGAS and BP, Eni, Total, and Edison.
The fifth deal, which is an oil drilling deal in the Gulf of Suez, is between state petroleum board EGPC and local company Trident Petroleum.

Kenya to Install 23 Solar Mini-Grids to Power Remote North

10.08.2016|Renewable Energy World
The Kenya government, with the support of a 33-million-euro credit from the French government, plans to install 23 solar mini-grid power stations with the capacity to produce 9.6 MW of power to connecthouseholds in remote northern Kenya to electricity.
Also to be installed as part of the project is a 0.6-MW mini-grid wind power plant, scaling up projected wind power production in the country in the next four years.
Already Lake Turkana Wind Power project, a 320-MW wind project in Africa owned by KP&P Africa B.V, Aldwych International as co-developers, Industrial Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and Google Plc, is under construction with a projected completion date of 2018.
The latest initiative will see power stations put up across seven arid counties in northern Kenya neighbouring Somalia and Ethiopia that have been relying on thermal power in select major trading centers, leaving hundreds of thousands of pastoralist communities without power.

Egypt plans 3 power projects worth $7bn

Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity has finalised negotiations for three projects costing $7 billion, a report said.
The projects include Dairut’s 2,250 MW capacity combined-cycle power plant to be carried out by Acwa Power, Al-Nowais’s 2,640 MW capacity coal power plant in the Oyoun Mousa area, and Gulf of Suez’s 250 MW capacity wind plant to be carried out by the Toyota alliance, added the Daily News Egypt report.
The ministry is planning to finalise the contracts for the three projects, the report said.
All the technical, financial, and legal aspects of establishing the Suez Gulf’s wind plant at a cost of $300 million have been agreed upon with the alliance of Toyota, Orascom, and GD France, according to the report, which noted that the arbitration issue led the signing to be delayed, quoting a source.
Negotiations with Acwa Power to establish the Dairut power plant are complete, except for the agreement on arbitration; the report quoted a top official as saying.
The Dairut power plant is estimated to cost $2.2 billion. It will be established on 70 feddans and consist of three units, each generating 750 MW through combined-cycle technology, the report said.