2013-10-08 14:18:32 - New Energy market report from Business Monitor International: "Greece Oil & Gas Report Q4 2013"
Despite the sudden back down on the acquisition of DEPA by the Russian energy major Gazprom, the privatisation process and the hydrocarbon exploration in Greece are still moving along steadily. In summer, there were two positive develpments in Greece's energy sector. Firstly, the privatisation of DESFA was approved and Azerbaijan's state gas firm SOCAR received the 66% of the Natural gas transmission operator for a price of EUR 400mn, 35% will be owned by Hellenic Petroleum [HELPE] and the remaining 31% by the state. Secondly, it was confirmed that the long awaited interconnector of gas transmission from the Caspian Sea to Europe will be TAP. The new pipeline will travel through Greece and then under the sea to Italy defeating
a rival project - Nabucco - to take the pipeline through Bulgaria and into Austria. The 800km pipeline will run through Turkey, northern Greece and southern Albania before travelling to Italy. This is significant news, amongst others, for the development of Greece as an energy hub, but also for the economic benefits it will bring to the country during its construction and 50-year operation phase.
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The key trends and developments in the Greek oil and gas sector are:
* One of the main issues in the country's privatisation agenda over the past 12 months is the sale of the natural gas supply co-operation DEPA and the country's transmission operator, DESFA. The privatisation of state-controlled betting monopoly OPAP for EUR712mn in May 2013 and of that of DESFA for EUR 400mn, improves the outlook for further privatisation plans, such as those of Public Gas Corporation S.A. (DEPA), Athens Water Supply & Sewage Co SA (EYDAP) and Public Power Corporation S.A. (DEI) and the major ports and airports.
* A senior member of the country's privatisation bureau has highlighted that the tender for DEPA, along with the tender for the privatisation of HELPE, will commence at the first six months of 2014.
* Sergei Kupriyanov, a spokesman for Russian energy major Gazprom, has cited financial concerns as the reason behind his company's decision not to complete a proposed takeover of Greek natural gas explorer DEPA. Kupriyanov said Gazprom was not sufficiently confident of DEPA's financial position to proceed with the move. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller is known to have visited Athens several times in May 2013 to discuss the acquisition before dropping out. Greece was attempting to sell the state-owned asset in order to bolster its public finances.
* In May 2013, it was announced that the final contender for DESFA is Socar. The company had originally placed a bid of EUR450mn but in July 2013 it acquired 66% of the national grid transmission operator for EUR 400mn.
* Statutory upstream referring and monitoring responsibilities that formerly resided with ELPE were formerly transferred by the government (Ministry of Energy and Climate Change - YPEKA) to HHRM in early November.
* The Energean extension contract, which allows for prospecting and exploration by the company on neighbouring offshore fields, is the first to delineate the royalty regime. This will amount to 0% for average gross daily production up to 2,500 barrels (bbl), 3% for amounts of 2,501-5,000bbl, 6% for production of 5,001-10,000bbl and 10% for any production totalling more than 10,000bbl.
* Greece has commissioned two consortia led by domestic players Energean Oil and Hellenic Petroleum to explore for hydrocarbons in two blocks off the west coast of its mainland. Greece produces very little gas or oil at present but is attempting to reduce its dependence on energy imports.
* In 2012, the country imported around 1.5bcm of LNG, a large portion of which came through pipelines from Algeria. By 2022, we believe Greece could be importing up to 4bcm of LNG to help meet growing demand, especially from the transport sector.
* BMI expects gas consumption to amount to 4.4bn cubic metres (bcm) in 2013 and we forecast that it will to continue to rise over the medium-to-long term. By 2017, we expect consumption to reach 4.56bcm, rising to 5.32bcm by 2022.
* The 2017 oil net import bill is forecast to come in at US$7.8bn, further decreasing to US$4.1bn by the end of our 10-year forecast period in 2022. Gas imports are likely to be US$2.2bn in 2017 rising to US $2.4bn by 2022. The value of total oil and gas imports is set to reach US$10.0bn by 2017, decreasing to US$6.6bn by 2022. At the time of writing we assumed an OPEC basket oil price for 2013 of US$108.0/ bbl, falling to US$104.0/bbl in 2014 and US$96.5 in 2017.
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