Energean founder, chairman and CEO Mathios Rigas called a press conference in Tel Aviv this morning to present the Greek energy company's plans for developing the Karish and Tanin offshore natural gas fields. Energean acquired the fields from Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) and Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) for $150 million as part of the Israel Antitrust Authority's arrangements to inject competition into the sector.
Presenting his plans under the banner "Breaking the Monopoly," Rigas committed to submit his development plan to the Israeli government by May 2017, obtain $1.3-1.5 billon in financing by December 2017, and supply natural gas to the Israeli economy by 2020.
Rigas explained that there are two elements that would make the project economically feasible: Israeli customers purchasing at least 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually; and a worthwhile price for both sides. He thanked the Israeli government for its swift decision making both in approving the development plan and in setting clear and equitable measures for supporting smaller gas fields, and allowing the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) to benefit from the lower gas prices resulting from Energean's entry into the field.
Rigas explained that Energean has examined several options for developing the fields and selected the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) method using huge ships capable of storing large amount of gas. Such ships, he said, are more expensive than erecting platforms but can produce a higher amount of gas (90% versus 70%) because of its proximity to the gas field. The ship can produce 3 BCM per year over 25 years, making it a worthwhile investment.
Rigas stressed that using a ship will also contribute to faster development and technological security. He said, "It's cleaner technology with less environmental impact."
Energean Israel operations manager Shaul Tzemach, the former director general of the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, added that the ship would also be able to serve any future small fields that may be discovered, and Energean's business model would remove obstacles to developing them.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 11, 2017
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