Paying Attention to the Flow of Gas – Nobel Energy, Delek Drilling, Shemen Oil, Egypt’s East Gas, East Med, etc…

Dear Reader:

We have highlighted the most important parts of this article in red, with the most significant of those bolded and underlined. We are asking you to read the underlines. Much of the financing and ownership of these gas pipelines, production plants, fields and mining operations are going to be in the hands of private companies. Gas is going to be shipped to Eypt to be re-exported (perhaps back to Israel at a higher cost). We surmise that the public at large in Israel is going to be at the mercy of these private companies, many of which have shared ownership. 

Read the underlines.

 

Talks Underway to Build Gas Pipeline to Egypt

(Bloomberg) — Talks are in progress to build an underwater natural gas pipeline between Israel and Egypt, part of efforts to transform the eastern Mediterranean into an energy export hub on Europe’s doorstep, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said. Israeli gas stocks rose.

Construction could begin as early as next year on the pipe to transport gas from Israel’s offshore Leviathan and Tamar fields to Egypt’s existing liquefied natural gas plants for processing and re-export, Steinitz said.

The new line would allow Israel to export much more to Egypt than the maximum 7 billion cubic meters per year that can flow through the existing EMG pipeline connecting southern Israel to Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

“There’s no final decision yet, but there are talks,” Steinitz told Bloomberg in an interview in Cairo, where he took part in the first East Mediterranean Gas Forum. The event was aimed at boosting cooperation among the region’s nascent gas producers, consumers and transit countries. The next meeting will take place in April.

Oil ministers from Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, Italy and the Palestinian Authority joined the gathering Monday, where they agreed to work together to monetize reserves by using existing infrastructure and adding more capacity.

The meeting came nearly a year after the signing of a $15 billion deal to export Israeli gas to Egypt over a decade — a landmark deal reached after years of litigation.

The companies developing reservoirs in Israel and Cyprus, led by Noble Energy Inc. and Delek Drilling LP, are working on a deal to sell around 12 bcm of natural gas to the Idku LNG facility in Egypt, which is partly owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Progress has been held up by a dispute between the Israeli and Cypriot governments over the development of the Aphrodite field that straddles both countries’ economic waters.

Shares of Delek climbed as much as 2 percent on the news. Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP, which owns 15 percent of Israel’s Leviathan, also gained as much as 2 percent in Tel Aviv trading.

Steinitz is the first Israeli minister to visit Egypt since the 2011 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, and his attendance reflects growing Egyptian openness toward cooperation with Israel. The two countries signed a peace deal in 1978, but ties had remained frigid for decades.

“Today’s meeting is extremely important, as it delivers a very important message to the international community that we’re working together in order to exploit our natural resources,” Steinitz said.

EMG Exports

Egypt’s East Gas and the companies developing Israel’s largest natural gas fields agreed in September to buy 39 percent of the East Mediterranean Gas Co., which owns the existing pipeline once used to export Egyptian gas to Israel. The buyout will allow the pipeline to transport gas in the other direction.

Steinitz said Egypt would begin to receive small quantities of Israeli gas through the EMG pipeline in April. Significant quantities would begin to flow in October or November, and the pipeline could reach full capacity next year.

Link To Europe

Major offshore gas finds have transformed the eastern Mediterranean region into an energy hot-spot.

Steinitz said work on the planned underwater East Med pipeline that will connect Israel, via Cyprus, to Greece and Italy was expected to start next year, and would take five or six years to complete. The European Union estimates the initial cost at $7 billion, with construction expected to be financed by private companies and institutional lenders, he said.

“It will be the longest and deepest gas pipeline in the world,” Steinitz said.

 

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Noble-Delek, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece-Cyprus-Israel Tripartite Summit and Geo-Political Dangers

To our readers:

We are republishing an article which is recognized as follows:

This article was originally published by Voxeurop. It is published in association with the European Data Journalism Network  and it is released under a CC BY-SA 4.0  license.

We ask that you kindly refer to the original source to review the initial information and we hope that this attribution suffices to satisfy the regulatory and copyright requirements of the enterprise. If not, we will oblige any request to take down the article or cut it back.
Our interest in the Noble-Delek deal(s) and more specifically with respect to this article, a reference to the “Greece-Cyprus-Israel tripartite summit” rests in what we believe will eventually be the wholesale hijacking of Israel’s energy supply by the private sector. We believe that Israeli citizens will be at the mercy of corrupt individuals and politicians.
We hope that we are wrong.
As we see it, the danger in the current energy deal(s) within Israel or involving Israel is simply one of control. Nearly all of the current energy deals involves a small number of very wealthy private citizens and/or their related companies.
We believe that the Israeli public should be very concerned. They should be demanding guarantees.
Finally, and perhaps more startling, we believe that the negotiations underway to build pipelines or alternatively to cart natural gas across countries, carry with them a strong, if not inevitable risk, of financial terrorism against much of the Middle East and parts of Europe which stand to benefit if these deals are successful; but can with equal measure be held hostage to the immense greed of the corrupt. We have highlighted the points in red that support our concerns.

Since some of the world’s largest gas reserves were discovered in Cyprus, the island has been coveted by fossil-fuel giants. The situation is burdening delicate negotiations on reunification

14/01/2019 –  Chloé Emmanouilidis

As winter approaches, the eastern Mediterranean is in a state of agitation. On 31 October Turkey launched its own hunt for oil and gas off Antalya, a race which could stir up new tensions in the region.

Ankara announced that it would oppose “unilateral, illegitimate and unjust” actions going against its interests. This at a time when Cyprus is about to resume exploratory drilling off its southern coast. The American oil-and-gas company ExxonMobil is due to begin drilling in the promising block 10 of Cyprus’s economic exclusion zone this month.

On 4 November Turkish president Recep Tayip Erdogan threateningly warned the oil giants against any gas exploration in Cyprus, calling them “pirates” and “bandits”. The Cypriot media is talking of a “psychological war”, a “game changer” which Turkey is trying to impose on the eastern Mediterranean.

Over the last decade, exploratory drilling has uncovered vast reserves of natural gas and oil near the coasts of Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and Lebanon. The Mediterranean, the Mare Nostrum, is rapidly becoming the focus of tensions linked to maritime borders and economic exclusion zones (EEZ). Two regional disputes exacerbate the problem: the Israel-Palestine conflict and discord over Cyprus itself, the island being divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.

On 4 November foreign diplomatic sources told the Cypriot daily Politis  that Turkey’s recently acquired drilling ship named Conqueror (Deep Sea Metro II), sailing off Antalya, is only the start of a Turkish strategic plan to torpedo Cyprus’s energy program by 2019, and that the hydrocarbons question now represents a sticking point for the next stages of talks on the Cyprus question.

In the context of a long-term solution ExxonMobil’s drilling could turn out well, but if the conflict remains unresolved then the risk is of escalating tension. “Turkey is conducting a policy of wait-and-see, so as to gauge the intentions of the Greek-Cypriot side on the Cyprus question and to get a full idea of the results of ExxonMobil’s drilling in block 10”, says Giannis Ioannou, diplomatic analyst at the University of Nicosia.

Ankara, which occupies half of the island (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, TRNC), does not have diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cyprus, which is internationally recognized. Turkey, as protector of the Turkish Cypriots, uses as its pretext the claim that the Cypriot government does not represent the interests of Turkish Cypriots. It refutes Greek-Cypriot claims to exclusive sovereignty, asserts that such sovereignty is subject to negotiation in the talks, and points to its own status as guarantor of a 1980 treaty agreement to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots. Accordingly, Turkey does not recognize Cyprus’s economic exclusion zone.

This map shows Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, as well as the different drilling blocks, the companies that are exploiting them, and their country. (Andreas Vou | VoxEurop)

This map shows Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, as well as the different drilling blocks, the companies that are exploiting them, and their country. (Andreas Vou | VoxEurop)

 

Neither has Ankara ratified the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) because of its misgivings about article 87 of part V. Following Ankara’s line, TRNC claims co-ownership of the island’s natural resources and opposes attempts by Nicosia to make unilateral contracts for drilling at sea. In September 2011 the Turkish Cypriots signed an “accord of delimitation of the continental shelf” with Turkey. On this basis the separatist regime declared an “economic exclusion zone” comprising half of the Cypriot EEZ and including blocks 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 12 and 13.

Several analysts had suggested that Cypriot gas would be a catalyst for a solution to the Cyprus problem, but it has turned out to be an obstacle. In 2015 talks were suspended after Turkey violated the EEZ by broadcasting a Navtex message, an international alert signal. But the gradual recovery from the economic crisis of 2012-13 and the election of a new TRNC president, the moderate Mustafa Akinci, allowed talks to resume. The rhetoric used by the Cypriot president, Nikos Anastasiades, was that the hydrocarbons issue must not be a part of negotiations. He asserted that the benefits of natural resources would only be shared equitably by the two communities within the framework of a solution on a reunified federal Cyprus. Strongly disagreeing, Akinci reproached Anastasiades for not creating a committee for the gas and for taking decisions without consulting Turkish Cypriots.

“From now on, at each proposition by the Greek side, Turkey will put gas on the negotiations table”, explains Giannis Ioannou. “Cyprus is paying for the failure of the Crans-Montana talks  ”. It is very likely that Ankara will use the Cypriot EEZ to make future negotiations harder. “Natural gas has clearly become a game-changer. Erdogan will use it as a weapon in negotiations”, says the diplomatic analyst, adding: “I believe that Erdogan no longer wants a federal solution. He has a plan B, he wants a two-state solution. The status quo suits him”.

Talks on a reunification of the island at Crans-Montana in Switzerland, under the aegis of the UN and three guarantor countries, broke down in July 2017. The plan involved the creation of a “bi-zonal and bi-communitary” federation. The two leaders could not agree on the crucial questions of territorial adjustments and security guarantees. With the support of Greece, Cyprus wanted the European Union to be the security guarantor for all Cypriot citizens, but Turkey did not want the the initial system changed, ostensibly fearing for the security of its community. The two leaders later blamed each other for the failure.

During a televised press conference  on 6 November, Anastasiades declared to Cypriots that the Crans-Montana outcome was caused by Turkish intransigeance. He proposed, without details, a decentralized federal government, adding that decentralization would not compromise Cyprus’s territorial integrity or its sovereignty, security or economy. Talks are currently at an impasse, since the Turkish-Cypriot leader had warned that he would resign if a federal bi-zonal and bi-communitary solution was taken off the table.

Reelected in February 2018, Anastasiades sought to supervise the ongoing drilling off the island’s southern coast in order to stimulate economic growth. The proven gas reserves dispersed over the 13 blocks of a part of the Republic of Cyprus’s self-declared EEZ are estimated at 10-12 bn cubic feet. Natural gas in block 12, named “Aphrodite”, drilled by such companies as Noble Energy, Royal Dutch Shell and Delek, is alone estimated at 4.5 bn cubic feet. On 8 February 2018, Italian giant Eni announced a discovery of gas in the block 6, “Calypso”. According to Cypriot media  its proven reserves are estimated at between 6 and 8 bn cubic feet. But these figures remain small compared to those of wells belonging to Egypt (“Zohr”, 30 bn cubic feet) and Israel.

However, Cyprus’s ambitious energy program is bumping up against an increasingly aggressive Turkey. Tension between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey had already increased in February after Turkish warships blocked  the drilling ship Saipem 12000, belonging to Eni, which was heading towards gas deposits in block 3 of the EEZ. Following Turkish provocations drilling in block 3 was suspended. Nicosia accused Turkey of violating international law and announced that it would maintain its program of exploitation and exploration.

In February 2018, following these tensions, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres preferred to play for time, declaring that his role was not to “take position on the rights of member states regarding existing international law […]. A solution to the Cyprus problem represents the best chance to solve the problem”. A point that he reiterated in his report  to the UN Security Council in October 2018.

“Because of Turkey’s actions in the EEZ it is not certain that Cyprus will be able to sell gas”, believes Fiona Mullen, specialist on Cyprus and the eastern-Mediterranean gas question, when asked in February. “The main lesson is that we must not pretend that the gas question is separate from the Cyprus problem. When one side has international law on its side but the other has weapons, the only way to solve the problem is by talking. Only a political solution will end this. […] The main short-term risk is that Turkey will use its deep-sea drilling ship, Deep Sea Metro II, to drill in the number-3 well, where Eni is present. The long-term risk for business is that no gas will be exploitable until the Cyprus problem is resolved”, she says.

From a more technical perspective there exist different options for transporting the gas, of which none has yet been chosen. The gas could be exported by connecting undersea pipelines, or by constructing a liquefaction plant. Another system, which facilitates the use of excess gas, would be to generate electricity which could be exported to Europe by undersea cable. For the EU Cypriot hydrocarbons are a means of diversifying its gas supply and reducing its dependence on Russia, and it has identified the East Med gas pipeline as a general-interest project. “At present I do not think that the East Med pipeline [serving Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy] is viable. It has been costed at $6 billion by its benefactors. That is a ridiculously low figure for a pipeline which would extend from Israel to Italy, says Fiona Mullen. “The quickest, simplest and least expensive way to export gas would be to send it by pipeline to Turkey. But that requires a solution to the Cyprus problem, which seems very unlikely right now”.

Turkey also sees the possibility of gas exports through Cyprus and Greece as a threat to its own ambitions as a transit country through which gas from the Caspian Sea and central Asia can reach the European market. Last February Egypt, following tension in the Cypriot EEZ, deployed its warships into the area. With its actions Turkey is also testing regional alliances.

Over the last ten years, discoveries of hydrocarbons and the effects of the Arab Spring have both shaped new axes of cooperation and pushed the Cypriot government to seek new alliances in the region so as to secure its future gas exports. But these ties are vulnerable since no military treaty has yet been signed.

In this regard, recent years have seen several tripartite summits, including Greece-Egypt-Cyprus and Israel-Greece-Cyprus. For the first time in its history Cyprus has been playing, de facto, an important role in regional politics and security. By the same token bilateral relations with France deepened under the François Hollande presidency, with renewed defence contracts and French support for Cypriot resource extraction, including notably the presence of Total in several blocks of the EEZ.

Under President Emmanuel Macron French involvement has continued to grow, particularly in defence matters. During a working visit to Cyprus in September 2018 French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian declared that “For us the security of Cyprus is a priority in a particularly agitated region”. In an interview with the Greek newspaper Kathimerini he reiterated that France had always supported Cyprus’s sovereign right to explore and exploit its natural resources in accordance with EU law and international law.

For its part the United States also reiterated Cyprus’s right to develop its resources, including those inside the EEZ. The Cypriot foreign minister, Nikos Christodoulides, visited the USA on 7 November and signed a declaration of intention which officialises and establishes a new framework for US-Cypriot security cooperation. Sources reported that there was also discussion about an American participation at an upcoming Greece-Cyprus-Israel tripartite summit. The shared position of Ankara and Turkish Cyprus seems to indicates that the economic benefits of gas for the two communities are only the tip of the iceberg. Beyond the economic aspect, obviously fundamental for a future federal state, lies the question of sovereignty, since Turkish-Cypriot participation in management of the reserves will allow Turkey to guarantee its vital interests in the region.

East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz…Noble-Delek

A series of firsts for Egyptian gas forum

Mirette F. Mabrouk
Senior Fellow, Director of Egypt program

Mirette F. Mabrouk

The regional gas forum Egypt hosted yesterday saw several firsts. It was the first such forum that the country had hosted, the invitees aren’t usually found attending the same parties, and it has led to a declaration of the establishment of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), bringing together Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Israel, Jordan, and Palestine. The new forum will be based in Cairo and is in line with Egypt’s ambitions to establish itself as a regional hub for natural gas.

Israel was represented by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, the first such visit by an Israeli Cabinet member since the 2011 Arab Spring uprising. Steinitz referred to it as “the most significant economic cooperation between Egypt and Israel since the signing of the peace treaty 40 years ago,” in comments to the Associated Press. “It brings all of us — Jordan, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority, and Italy — together.”

Egypt and Israel signed a $15 billion gas deal last year and the first shipments, from Israel, are slated for early this year, from Israel’s Tamar field via Delek Drilling and its U.S. partner, Noble Energy, which would sell a total of 64 billion cubic meters of gas over a 10-year period to Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings. The forum offers Egypt the promise of both financial reward and regional leverage.

Apart from the inclusion of both the Israelis and the Palestinians in any such forum, the announcement was particularly relevant because of its future implications. Europe is keen on encouraging new delivery routes in order to lever itself free of current Russian control over the region’s energy market and the Eastern Mediterranean provides both new finds and delivery routes.

There are few factors that encourage regional stability like the promise of financial gain. It can, however, place pressure in the opposite direction, and there is potential for regional upset. Turkey has made no secret of its displeasure with Cyprus over the issue of energy and has demanded that it cease exploration operations. More to the point, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan directly addressed companies wishing to do business with Cyprus: “Energy companies who involve themselves in irresponsible steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side can never be met with understanding,” he said. “They could lose a friend in Turkey.”

Noble-Delek, Gas Pipeline Between Israel and Egypt – Leviathan and Tamar, Slippery Business

Talks under way to build new gas pipeline to Egypt, Israel says

Talks are in progress to build a new underwater gas pipeline between Israel and Egypt, part of efforts to transform the eastern Mediterranean into an energy export hub on Europe’s doorstep, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitzsaid. Israeli gas stocks rose.

Construction could begin as early as next year on the pipe to transport gas from Israel’s offshore Leviathan and Tamar fields to Egypt’s existing liquefied natural gas plants for processing and re-export, Steinitz said.

The new line would allow Israel to export much more to Egypt than the maximum 7 billion cubic meters per year that can flow through the existing EMG pipeline connecting southern Israel to Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

“There’s no final decision yet, but there are talks,” Steinitz told Bloomberg in an interview in Cairo, where he took part in the first East Mediterranean Gas Forum. The event was aimed at boosting cooperation among the region’s nascent gas producers, consumers and transit countries. The next meeting will take place in April.

Oil ministers from EgyptIsraelGreeceCyprusJordanItaly and the Palestinian Authority joined the gathering Monday, where they agreed to work together to monetize reserves by using existing infrastructure and adding more capacity.

The meeting came nearly a year after the signing of a $15-billion deal to export Israeli gas to Egypt over a decade – a landmark deal reached after years of litigation.

The companies developing reservoirs in Israel and Cyprus, led by Noble Energy and Delek Drilling, are working on a deal to sell around 12 bcm of natural gas to the Idku LNG facilityin Egypt, which is partly owned by Royal Dutch Shell. Progress has been held up by a dispute between the Israeli and Cypriot governments over the development of the Aphrodite field that straddles both countries’ economic waters.

Shares of Delek climbed as much as 2% on the news. Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP, which owns 15% of Israel’s Leviathan, also gained as much as 2% in Tel Aviv trading.

Steinitz is the first Israeli minister to visit Egypt since the 2011 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, and his attendance reflects growing Egyptian openness toward cooperation with Israel. The two countries signed a peace deal in 1978, but ties had remained frigid for decades.

“Today’s meeting is extremely important, as it delivers a very important message to the international community that we’re working together in order to exploit our natural resources,” Steinitz said.

EMG EXPORTS
Egypt’s East Gas and the companies developing Israel’s largest natural gas fields agreed in September to buy 39% of the East Mediterranean Gas, which owns the existing pipeline once used to export Egyptian gas to Israel. The buyout will allow the pipeline to transport gas in the other direction.

Steinitz said Egypt would begin to receive small quantities of Israeli gas through the EMG pipeline in April. Significant quantities would begin to flow in October or November, and the pipeline could reach full capacity next year.

LINK TO EUROPE
Major offshore gas finds have transformed the eastern Mediterranean region into an energy hot-spot.

Steinitz said work on the planned subsea East Med pipelinethat will connect Israel, via Cyprus, to Greece and Italy was expected to start next year, and would take five or six years to complete. The European Union estimates the initial cost at $7-billion, with construction expected to be financed by private companies and institutional lenders, he said.

To read the article in its entirety click here.

Liquefied Natural Gas and the Balance of Power in the Eastern Mediterranean

East Mediterranean gas no game-changer: IEA’s Birol – ANADOLU AGENCY

Turkish head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Birol

28.12.2018 Ovunc Kutlu and Nuran Erkul Kaya

ANKARA – Natural gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean are unlikely to be a game-changer given rising supplies in the global gas market, according to the Turkish head of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Discoveries of new gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean have put some countries in the spotlight, but feasibility, political challenges, and the presence of other major gas producers impose hurdles on projects that may fail to have a major impact on the gas market, Fatih Birol said on Friday.

“Qatar’s liquefied natural gas has a very dominant role in the Mediterranean market,” he told Anadolu Agency.

“With Qatar, American gas, and incoming supply from Israel and Egypt, it looks very difficult economically to constitute a major project in the eastern Mediterranean, plus there are some political issues as well.”

Currently, Qatar is leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports with 12 consecutive years under its belt, while the U.S. is looking to raise its LNG exports with its abundant shale gas supplies. 

“With those and political difficulties, it’s not right to expect a major game-changing role from eastern Mediterranean gas. We’re in the midst of gas abundance,” he added.

Natural gas reserves in Israel’s Leviathan field are estimated to be 620 billion cubic meters (bcm), while offshore discoveries in Tamar are estimated to hold 280 bcm of gas. 

Total gas reserves in Egypt’s Zohr field are around 850 bcm, while the Noor field was reported in June to hold 2.55 trillion cubic meters (tcm) of natural gas — among the world’s largest.

“Egypt first wanted to use this gas for its domestic consumption and has recently begun exporting gas. There will be some significant LNG exports from Egypt. They also discovered Noor field,” Birol said.

“Israel has plans to export LNG in the future, or to integrate with Egyptian infrastructure. For now, however, it’s using gas for its domestic consumption,” he added.

Birol said there are additional natural gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean as well, but added that there is an oversupply of gas in the global market.

“A new major wave of production is coming in the LNG sector,” he said.

Global natural gas production rose steadily from 2.94 tcm in 2007 to 3.68 tcm in 2017, a 25.2 percent leap, while LNG imports climbed from 356.7 bcm in 2016 to 393.4 bcm in 2017, a 10.3 percent annual jump, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 report.

Birol pointed to rising LNG production in the U.S., Qatar, and Australia, saying those three countries will become world leaders in LNG exports in 2025.

He also praised the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project, which is set to deliver 6 bcm of gas from the Shah Deniz II field in Azerbaijan to Turkey, and an additional 10 bcm to Europe every year.

Birol emphasized that Turkey should focus on gas storage, which currently constitutes 10 percent of its gas consumption.

The world ratio of gas storage capacity to domestic gas consumption is around 25 percent, according to Birol.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Noble Downgraded, again… It Simply Makes No Sense – Some Thoughts

nobleenergy

THE NOBLE ENERGY INC. DOWNGRADE?

To Our Readers (Disclosure Statement and Explanation):

This article should in no way be interpreted or misinterpreted to view it as a recommendation with respect to the purchase or sale of shares of stock in any company. It is not a market analysis or a ratings analysis in the traditional sense. We leave that to the experts.

However in light of our respect for the experts, we believe that the volatility and the changes in ratings, upgrades and downgrades simply don’t make any logical sense as one reviews these shares (NBL) in terms of the energy sector as a whole and gas and oil in the micro sense. Moreover, we have highlighted insider trading information in the final document in the thread which make absolutely no sense if we are to believe what the institutional investors are saying about the shares.

Having said that, please accept this article as a screenshot view of a stock that we believe is being manipulated to make it more or less palatable on any given day, in a coordinated effort to entice investors (a quasi reverse pump and dump); and in so doing to change the geopolitical bargaining of players across the world in the Middle East and others along the Mediterranean, including Greece, Cyprus all heavily involved in gas and oil exploration. We question the shares’ movement by the insiders, particularly given the timing of those sales; though we are not even hinting that the insiders behaved nefariously in their decision-making. We are only maintaining that something in the movement of the shares does not follow a logical pattern. 

In simpler terms, we believe that the shares and market sentiment are being manipulated; and once the dust settles, it will be very interesting to see who owns the largest percentages in the company and at what point and price they got there. It will be most interesting to see who will have final control over the company in the coming year, particularly given the geopolitical current in the Middle East.

Please see the articles below for what we believe to be most important points. We have highlighted some of the dots that we connected. 

 

Noble Energy (NBL) Downgraded by Capital One Financial to “Underweight”

Capital One Financial downgraded shares of Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) from an overweight rating to an underweight rating in a research note released on Thursday, MarketBeat Ratingsreports.

NBL has been the topic of several other reports. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an overweight rating on shares of Noble Energy in a report on Friday, September 28th. Raymond James raised shares of Noble Energy from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Wednesday, November 7th. Morgan Stanley set a $38.00 price target on shares of Noble Energy and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, October 12th.

Cowen initiated coverage on shares of Noble Energy in a report on Thursday, November 29th. They set an outperform rating on the stock. Finally, Mizuho set a $28.00 price target on shares of Noble Energy and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, November 28th.

Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and twenty have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $41.46.

Shares of Noble Energy stock opened at $18.17 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $9.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 58.61, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a current ratio of 0.81. Noble Energy has a 1 year low of $18.05 and a 1 year high of $37.76.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 1st. The oil and gas development company reported $0.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $1.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.16 billion. Noble Energy had a net margin of 25.09% and a return on equity of 4.82%.

The firm’s revenue was up 32.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.02) EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Noble Energy will post 0.98 EPS for the current year.

In other Noble Energy news, major shareholder Nbl Midstream, Llc sold 14,137,198 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.75, for a total transaction of $250,935,264.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.96% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of NBL. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Noble Energy in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $207,000. Cognios Capital LLC acquired a new position in shares of Noble Energy in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $1,054,000. CIBC World Markets Inc. lifted its position in shares of Noble Energy by 50.0% in the 2nd quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 19,206 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $678,000 after purchasing an additional 6,404 shares during the period. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV lifted its position in shares of Noble Energy by 7.2% in the 2nd quarter. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV now owns 32,976 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $1,163,000 after purchasing an additional 2,221 shares during the period. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Noble Energy by 27.1% in the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 92,174 shares of the oil and gas development company’s stock worth $3,245,000 after purchasing an additional 19,657 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 98.69% of the company’s stock.

Noble Energy Company Profile

Noble Energy, Inc, an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids worldwide. It owns, operates, develops, and acquires domestic midstream infrastructure assets in the DJ and Delaware Basins. It principal projects are primarily located in the US unconventional basins and various global offshore conventional basins.

 

Analyst Recommendations for Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL)

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Noble-Delek, Israel, Greece and Cyprus to Sign Natural Gas Deal… Why Would Delek US Holdings be Getting Downgraded?

Israel, Greece and Cyprus to sign natural gas pipeline deal

Gasoil News – Published on Mon, 24 Dec 2018

israel-_greece_and_cyprus_to_sign_natural_gas_pipeline_deal_47710.jpgImage Source: The Times of Israel

AP reported that Prime Minister Mr Benjamin Netanyahu as saying that Israel, Greece and Cyprus will sign an agreement early next year to build a pipeline to carry natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe, while the United States pledged its support for the ambitious project. The USD 7 billion project, expected to take six or seven years to complete, promises to reshape the region as an energy provider and dent Russia’s dominance over the European energy market. It also could curtail Iranian ambitions to use Syria as a gateway to the eastern Mediterranean.

Speaking at a summit with the Greek and Cypriot leaders in southern Israel, Mr Netanyahu said the three nations reaffirmed their commitment to the pipeline and discussed “important aspects” of the project. Italy is also a partner in the pipeline’s planning. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said the project is waiting for a green light from the European Union to move forward. We’re going to sign formally, officially, this agreement in a few months.”

In another boost for the project, US Ambassador David Friedman hailed the pipeline as integral to the “stability and prosperity of the Middle East and Europe,” and urged all countries in the region to ensure its success.

Washington is eyeing the east Mediterranean with renewed interest. In a meeting with the Greek foreign minister earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeio called the region “an important strategic frontier” for Washington, which is working to strengthen its relations with “democratic allies there like Greece and Cyprus and Israel.”

Israel has been developing natural gas fields off its Mediterranean coast for the past decade. Its “Tamar” field already is operational, while the larger “Leviathan” field is expected to be operational next year. While most of its gas is used domestically, it has signed export deals with Egypt and Jordan and has its eyes on the larger European market.

However, the proposed pipeline would allow Israel and Cyprus to export their recently discovered offshore reserves to Italy and eventually to the rest of Europe. Greece, which would act as a conduit for the gas to the continent, could also use the pipeline to convey any hydrocarbons potentially found in its own waters.

Meanwhile, this would potentially transform the countries’ economies while also diversifying Europe’s gas supply and reduce its dependence on Russia. Developing the region’s hydrocarbon reserves would also serve to curb Teheran’s bid to “open a window” to the east Mediterranean through Syria, Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell told Greek language newspaper Kathimerini in an interview published this week.