During the first day of the 8th Egypt Oil & Gas (EOG) convention, a roundtable discussion debated the importance of decarbonization and the ways to secure stable access to energy sources on a timely, sustainable and affordable basis amid the climate change challenges as well as markets instability due to Russian–Ukrainian war consequences.
The roundtable was chaired by the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla and attended by ministry senior officials, chairmen of holding companies, in addition to leaders of international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Egypt. It was opened by Mohamed Fouad, EOG Committee CEO and Co-Chairman, and moderated by David Chi, Vice President and Country Manager of Apache Corporation, EOG Committee Chairman.
In his remarks, Chi highlighted the importance of increasing oil production in a responsible way, noting the progress of the Egyptian petroleum ministry in this regard.
Denisse Abudinén, CEO and General Manager of ENAP Sipetrol Egypt, stated that Egypt needs to diversify its energy matrix more, mentioning the active role of her company in Egypt. “In order to continue developing the oil and gas industry [in Egypt], we continue increasing the digitization in the industry, also we need to increase innovation,” she said.
For his part, Asharaf Farag, First Undersecretary for Agreements and Exploration at the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, outlined the remarkable achievements of the government in energy security since 2015. “We announced around 128 blocks in 12 bid rounds and we signed 140 agreements with a minimum financial commitment of $24 billion and a signature bonus of $1.53 billion,” Farag said.
Khaled Kacem Chairman and Managing Director, Shell Egypt NV, stated that energy security should not impact energy transition as it is part of energy security solutions. “I believe that we are all responsible for supplying the world with the energy it needs right now while building the energy system for the future,” Kacem added.
Ahmed Khalifa, Undersecretary for Projects, Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, underlined that the existing sources of energy will continue even in the transition period, adding “in parallel, we should [implement] decarbonization”.
Also, Sameh Sabry, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Wintershall Dea Egypt, highlighted the pivotal role of Egypt in energy security within the region. “Egypt has everything [to be energy hub]; the potential resources, infrastructure as well as excellent ties to the region’s countries.”
Layla El Hares, Managing Director of Siemens Energy Egypt, said that the location of Egypt enables it to have a major role in energy security. She emphasized her company’s plans in investing in renewable energy projects in Egypt, noting the importance of natural gas in this regard. “I spoke about renewables in the near future, but this will require a base load of gas,” El Hares stressed.
Sherif Bayoumy, SLB’s Managing Director for Egypt, Sudan and the East Mediterranean, highlighted the role of Egypt Upstream Gateway (EUG) platform in attracting more investors by using the data noting that “data is not only [saving] time, but also it develops a lot of insights and it is important in terms of decision-making”.
From his side, Ahmed Helmy, Halliburton North Africa Vice President, discussed his company’s efforts to support the Egyptian market with the needed technologies at such a critical time. “The good thing here for us is we have the right human CAPEX on the ground, where we can create this collaboration and understanding of the challenges with the majority of the customers in order to increase the production in Egypt,” he said.
Tameer Nasser, Managing Director and General Manager for Egypt & Sudan at Baker Hughes, stressed that natural gas is part of the energy transition. He shed the light on the Bechtel-led Coalition for Decarbonization which his company is taking part in to support emissions reduction efforts.
Meanwhile, Eleanor Rowley, Managing Director of Capricorn Energy Egypt, pointed out that Egypt is an attractive market to her company. “We came in with the belief that Egypt is a good place to play for growing forward,” Rowley said that the reason behind this is the good trust and confidence between the different companies and the government authorities.
Tawfik Diab, Chairman of Cheiron Petroleum Corporation, pointed out that the world energy map is changing very quickly and very rapidly and this is putting a lot of pressure on companies, particularly companies of medium size that face a lot of issues relating to financing and costs, as one of the biggest challenges that exist is that there are a lot of interesting opportunities that are too small for the big companies and too big for the small companies.
Mahmoud Dabbous, Chairman & CEO of IPR Energy Group, emphasized that Egypt’s geographically and geopolitically stable position, as well as its strong industry and cultural history of the petroleum sector, can help in building a profitable business environment. He added that it will also boost efforts to diversify investment opportunities, upstream and downstream with the available skilled workforce, robust infrastructure and low cost compared to countries around us in the Arab Gulf, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
Alexandra Thomas, Manager Director Egypt – Neptune Energy, stressed that exploration is key to energy security and energy transition and how enabling technology is important for exploration in Egypt.
During the roundtable, El Molla highlighted the importance of the ongoing dialogue between the petroleum sector and its global partners to discuss common priorities to meet the current global challenges and changes. The priorities are energy efficiency and securing its supplies through increasing low-carbon production.
“I am very proud that we are all together here as one team, one family, one industry, under one roof, but believe me, with what Wood Mackenzie had shown us in the presentation… that give you the reassurance of Egypt’s position, Egypt’s potential locally, domestically, regionally, plus the future of oil and gas globally, El Molla said.
El Molla stated that there is an agreement to support the joint vision to achieve success in the energy transition phase. He further highlighted that natural gas is a basic option for the transition as well as the importance of using technology to reduce emissions from industrial activities as part of a joint roadmap for implementation.
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla concluded by emphasizing the necessity to go beyond just theories, adding that proposals should be discussed and promptly implemented.