At an open dialogue meeting in Enppi’s Cairo headquarters, new members of the Egypt Oil & Gas (EOG) Committee from Egypt’s national oil companies (NOCs) were jointly welcomed by Egypt Oil & Gas and the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.
The meeting was attended by many industry leaders from the Ministry, international oil companies (IOCs), and NOCs.
The Ministry’s Undersecretary of the Technical Office Alaa Hagar opened the meeting by pointing out that Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla has emphasized the importance of EOG’s role in uniting the sector’s stakeholders together to work for one purpose. “He wanted the EOG taskforces to be a platform for cooperation between IOCs and NOCs in order to exchange ideas on the challenges and opportunities we face as a sector,” Hagar said. “[It’s] also to help the acceleration of efforts to secure a sustainable future for the sector in our beloved country. I am confident that this platform will provide a unique opportunity for NOCs and IOCs to foster deeper partnerships and engagements.”
EOG Committee Chairman David Chi, who is also the Vice-President of Apache Corporation and Country Manager for Apache in Egypt, started the session by outlining the importance of the EOG Committee’s work and the Minister’s tireless efforts in COP27. “The Committee has been very successful for many years in making a very significant impact, sometimes directly [or] sometimes indirectly,” Chi said. “I want to congratulate the Ministry’s team, and His Excellency [the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources] in particular, for a very successful COP27 Decarbonization Day.”
EOG Group Founder and CEO Mohamed Fouad also delivered opening remarks, praising El Molla for Decarbonization Day’s success and announcing that the EOG Committee is about to celebrate its tenth anniversary at the 8th Egypt Oil & Gas Convention set to take place next week.
He then started his presentation by welcoming the new members to the Committee and highlighted the importance of its foundation shortly after Egypt’s January revolution. “After the revolution, a lot of things changed. Communication changed, the mindset has changed, and how we want to do business also there was a big call for it to change,” said Fouad. “We saw as Egypt Oil & Gas that it was crucial that we need to create a dialogue of communication between the government and the different stakeholders in the industry.”
He also pointed out that one of the major milestones of the EOG Committee, even in its early stages, was its significant role in highlighting the potential of Egyptian natural gas, a resource that was later to become the key export that would turn the country into a regional energy trading hub. “The first thing that this Committee organized right after it was established was the first roundtable on the opportunities of the natural gas industry,” said Fouad.
He further highlighted that this roundtable was just the starting point for creating positive change on a wider scale. “It was when the price of gas was very static, not economical and not attractive at all for investment, and I remember our roundtable focused on the dialogue of we need to look [at] our agreement model [and] we need to change the gas price in our agreement.”
His presentation gave a basic overview of the EOG Committee, its task forces, activities, and objectives for the coming year. It also outlined some of the EOG Committee’s latest developments, including most notably the establishment of the Women in Energy taskforce last March, which was a milestone in its efforts to promote women’s inclusion in the oil and gas sector. Fouad emphasized the importance of the Energy Transition and Digitalization taskforces during the coming period, especially after COP27.
After the presentation, there was an open discussion in which members of the Committee were given the opportunity to contribute new ideas to the EOG Committee’s 2023 strategy while sharing different activities of the various task forces.
Of the many subjects that were brought up during the discussion was the importance of envisioning what needs to be achieved in the coming period. Capricorn Egypt’s Managing Director Eleanor Rowley, who leads the Women in Energy taskforce, highlighted the importance of commitment coupled with clear objectives and a solid plan to succeed. “What’s working for us is that we put together a very clear vision statement from the beginning and we’ve got all the companies onboard with we got what we’re trying to achieve. I think if we are going to be successful it’s because we took time at the beginning to really define what we wanted to do,” Rowley said. “With the Women in Energy Network, we have a very clear roadmap and we also have some very committed people.”
Prioritizing women’s support in the EOG Committee was also a common theme. Siemens Energy Egypt’s Managing Director Layla El Hares, who is also part of the Women in Energy taskforce, asserted the Committee’s critical role during the coming period in ensuring the industry is gender inclusive. “We have a lot of women that leave our industry at a certain time and we just want to make sure that we make things different for them to enable them to stay.”
Many highlighted that digitalization is a key area that they hope the Committee’s 2023 strategy would work to enhance. This was especially the case for Osama Salem from Enppi and the Ministry’s Undersecretary of Production Sherif Hassaballa who said it is pivotal to optimize efficiency for onsite activities, particularly in brownfields. “Digitalization is a tool that can help others achieve their targets,” Hassaballa said.
EOG’s Committee is yet to hold several future meetings to generate, finetune, and finalize a solid 2023 strategy.