Eni Boosts Exploration Activity in Med
Eni has signed two new concession agreements for North El Hammad and North Ras El Esh, located in the shallow waters in Egyptian Mediterranean Sea. The news follows winning bids for the company off Cyprus.
Eni is the operator of the North El Hammad block with an equity of 37.5 percent in participation with BP, who has a 37.5 percent stake, and with Total, who has 25 percent a stake. The block, which covers an area of 1,927 square kilometers, is located to the west of the Abu Madi West and Baltim-Baltim South development areas, where Eni recently made the significant discoveries of Nooros, in production since August 2015 and Baltim South West.
Eni has a 50 percent participation stake in the North Ras El Esh block, operated by BP with an equity of 50 percent. The block, which covers an area of 1,389 square kilometers, is located southwest of the development areas of Temsah and Port Fouad.
The two new concession agreements follow the recently awarded blocks of Southwest Meleiha (in the Western Desert), Shorouk, Karawan and North Leil (in the deep water of the Egyptian Mediterranean). They strengthen Eni’s portfolio and positioning in Egypt, and further confirm the company’s commitment to pursue new exploration after the recent successes of Nooros, Zohr and Baltim South West, made in 2015 and in 2016.
Eni has been present in Egypt since 1954, operating through its subsidiary IEOC. The company is the main producer in the country with an equity of approximately 224,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day at year-end 2016.
Eni has also been awarded two exploration blocks offshore Cyprus. Eni will be Operator of Block 6 with a 50 percent stake in partnership with Total (with the remaining 50 percent) and will acquire a 100 percent stake in Block 8.
These areas have geological affinities with those successfully explored by Eni in the neighboring areas in the Egyptian offshore, with the discovery of the Zohr super-giant gas field. With these new assignments, Eni strengthens its strategic positioning in an area where, in addition to the blocks 9, 3 and 2 assigned following the 2nd international bid round in 2012, the company also holds three exploration blocks on the Egyptian side: Shorouk (where the Zohr field is located), Karawan (where Eni has a 50 percent stake) and North Leil (Eni 100 percent).
“These assignments,” said Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi, “confirm the effectiveness of Eni’s exploration strategy, which keeps acquiring significant shares and uses the knowledge base resulting from the intense activity related to Zohr field. It is another step towards a possible future definition of a powerful hub for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, which could play an important role in the future energy security of the area, as well as potentially in Europe’s energy security.”
Eni has been operating in Cyprus since 2013, where it holds and operates the offshore exploration blocks 2, 3 and 9.