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CAIRO, July 14, 2018 (MENA) - CEO of Engie Global LNG Philip Olivier lauded the achievements made by Egypt during the past period and the serious steps it has taken on the ground to support its regional and international role as a key country in power fields.

During his meeting with Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tareq el Molla, Olivier said Egypt has all the capabilities that qualify it to become a regional power hub, the ministry said in a statement Saturday.

Meanwhile, Molla hailed as "strong" Cairo-Paris relations, noting that Egypt has managed to create a climate that can lure investments.

He also noted that business results achieved over the past period in Egypt’s petroleum and gas sector grabbed the world’s attention and made international companies interested in the investment opportunities available in the country.


BASRA, July 13, 2018 (News Wires) - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi went to Basra on Friday hoping to restore calm in the southern city, which has been gripped by protests over unemployment, his office said.

Abadi flew straight into the city from Brussels where he attended a NATO summit to discuss the Islamic State group and immediately held talks with officials, a statement said.

As Abadi met the governor of the oil-rich province and the head of the head of the power company, Iraq's top Shiite authority voiced support for the protesters, calling Basra one of Iraq's "most miserable areas".

"It is not fair and it is never acceptable that this generous province is one of the most miserable areas in Iraq," Abdel Mehdi al-Karbalai, the representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said at Friday prayers in Karbala.

Giving the weekly sermon, Karbalai said many residents of Basra "are suffering from a lack of public services" and urged the "federal and local government to deal seriously with the demands of citizens and work urgently to do what can be done."




TOKYO/ LONDON, July 13, 2018 (News Wires) - Oil prices fell on Friday and were set for a second straight week of decline after Libyan ports reopened and on the view that Iran might still export some crude despite US sanctions.

Brent crude was down 36 cents, or 0.5 per cent, at $74.09 per barrel by 1125 GMT, having fallen earlier by 1.3 per cent. It was heading for a weekly fall of around 4 per cent.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude lost 12 cents to $70.22, and was also set for a weekly decline of around 4 percent.

Oil approached $80 in late June and early July due to Libyan and Venezuelan supply disruptions and fears the United States would press all buyers of Iranian oil to cut imports to zero from November.

But prices weakened in recent days as OPEC member Libya reopened its ports in the east and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would consider granting waivers to some of Iran's crude buyers.

Prices also slid amid broader market fears that a US-China trade dispute could hit global economic growth.

"While the oil market could not escape the mounting trade tensions and souring sentiment in financial markets, the sell-off was more about signs of rising supplies," Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said.

"If Iran was blocked from the market, we believe oil prices would rise towards $90 per barrel, which would cause significant fuel inflation, weigh on consumer and business sentiment and eventually hurt the economy," he added.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned on Thursday that the world was short of spare supply capacity and hence any new disruption could further elevate oil prices.

"Underpinning this morning's bout of malaise are downbeat oil demand figures from China. The world´s biggest importer of crude curbed its purchases last month to a 2018 low," said Stephen Brennock from PVM brokerage.

CAIRO, July 11, 2018 (MENA) - The Petroleum Ministry has recently signed three agreements for oil and natural gas exploration and production in North Sinai and the Gulf of Suez.

The first agreement was signed with South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope) and Britain's GHP Corporation to dig six new wells in the western Gebel El Zeit Concession with total investments of six million dollars. Gebel El Zeit is an isolated, elongate mountain that reaches up to 457 metres and overlooks the southern end of the Gulf of Suez.

The second agreement was inked with the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) to search for oil in Ras Fanar Concession in the Gulf of Suez while the third one was signed with EGPC and Britain's Perenco Oil and Gas Company for exploring in North Sinai maritime concession.

In a statement, Petroleum Minister Tarek el Molla underlined the importance of making new oil and gas finds as they help increase the country's production and are considered the base for many industries.

Since 2013, the ministry has signed 83 agreements for oil and gas exploration, he said, adding that 18 new ones are in the pipeline.

BAGHDAD, July 10, 2018 (News Wires) - Iraq has extended the deadline for foreign companies and investors to bid for a project to build a 100,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Kut province, the oil ministry said on Tuesday.

Investors interested in bidding have until Oct. 4 to make offers, the ministry said in a statement.

The refinery, south of Baghdad, is one of several crude oil processing projects offered by Iraq as part of its plan to become self-sufficient in oil products.

Bidding documents provide for two investment models - build-own-operate (BOO) and build-operate-transfer (BOOT), it said.


TOKYO/LONDON, July 10, 2018 (News Wires) - Oil prices rose by more than $1 dollar per barrel on Tuesday due to growing global supply outages, with Norway shutting down one oilfield as hundreds of workers began a strike and Libya saying its production more than halved in recent months.

The disruptions add to supply worries around the world. Venezuela's production has collapsed due to a lack of investment and Iranian exports have suffered due to US sanctions. OPEC, meanwhile, has little capacity to fill the gap as demand for oil quickens.

Benchmark Brent oil futures rose by $1.13 per barrel, or 1.4 per cent, to $79.20 per barrel by 09:15 GMT, following a 1.2-percent climb on Monday. US light crude futures were up 53 cents, or 0.7 per cent, at $74.38.

Mounting supply concerns could push Brent above $85 per barrel, MUFG Bank said in a note.

"Renewed geopolitical supply-side disruptions stemming from Canada, Iran, Libya, Venezuela and the US raises the likelihood of oil trade interruptions and with it upside risks to oil prices in the near term," MUFG said.

Hundreds of workers on Norwegian offshore oil and gas rigs went on strike on Tuesday after rejecting a proposed wage deal, leading to the shutdown of one Shell-operated oilfield.

That potentially adds to disruptions in other oil producers amid tensions in the Middle East.

Libya's national oil production fell to 527,000 barrels per day from a high of 1.28 million bpd in February following recent oil port closures, the National Oil Corp said on Monday.

The United States says it wants to reduce oil exports from Iran, the world's fifth-biggest producer, to zero by November, which would oblige other big producers to pump more.

Saudi Arabia, fellow members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia agreed last month to increase output to dampen price gains and offset global production losses in countries including Libya.

The market has grown concerned that if the Saudis offset the losses from Iran, that will use up global spare capacity and leave markets more vulnerable to further or unexpected production declines.

"The bottom line becomes the available spare capacity within OPEC ... and the markets have started to focus on that," said Victor Shum, vice-president for energy at IHS markets in Singapore.

Money managers raised their bullish bets on US crude in the week to July 3, the US Commodity Trading Commission said on Monday.

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