‘Prerequisites for peace’: Expert applauds Skylakakis for endorsing energy transition policies that ‘open the way to dialogue and cooperation’

ATHENS, July 7, 2024 Greece: Energy and Environment Minister Theodoros Skylakakis is on the right track with his approach to Greece’s energy transition plans, a noted regional expert says.

“He’s got the right perspective,” industry veteran and author Roudi Baroudi said after Skylakakis spoke at this week’s Athens Energy Summit. “He understands that although the responsibility to reduce carbon emissions is universal, the best policy decisions don’t come in ‘one-size-fits-all’.”

Baroudi, who has more than four decades in the field and currently serves as CEO of Doha independent consultancy Energy and Environment Holding, made his comments on the sidelines of the forum, where he also was a speaker.

In his remarks, Skylakakis expressed confidence that Greece’s increasing need to store electricity – as intermittent renewables generate a growing share of electricity – would drive sufficient investment in battery capacity, without the need for subsidies. Among other comments, he also stressed the need for European Union policymakers to account for the fact that member-states currently face the cost s of both limiting future climate change AND mitigating the impacts that are already under way.

“Every country is different in terms of how it can best fight climate change. Each one has its own set of natural resources, industrial capacity, financial wherewithal, and other variables. What works in one situation might be a terrible idea elsewhere. That’s crucial and Skylakakis gets it,” Baroudi said. “He also understands that an effective transition depends on carefully considered policies, policies that attract investment to where it can not only have the greatest impact today, but also maximizes the impact of tomorrow’s technologies and tomorrow’s partnerships.”

“What Skylakakis is saying and doing fits in nicely with many of the same ideas I spoke about,” Baroudi added. “When he talks about heavier reliance on wind farms, the added storage capacity is a foundation that will help derive a fuller return from each and every turbine. When he highlights the utility – pun intended – of power and gas interconnections with other countries and regions, these are the prerequisites for peace, the building blocks for cooperation and dialogue.”

In his own speech shortly after Skylakakis’, Baroudi told the audience at the capital’s Hotel Grande Bretagne that countries in the Eastern Mediterranean should work together to increase cleaner energy production and reduce regional tensions.

“Surely there is a method by which we can re-establish the same common ground enshrined in the wake of World Wars I and II, recall the same common interests and identify new ones, and work together to achieve common goals, just as the UN Charter implores us to,” he said.

Baroudi advises companies, governments, and international institutions on energy policy and is an award-winning advocate for efforts to promote peace through dialogue and diplomacy. He told his audience that with both climate change and mounting geopolitical tensions posing threats to people around the world, policymakers needed to think outside the usual boxes.

In this way, he argued, “we might develop the mutual trust which alone can create a safer, happier, and better world for our children and grandchildren.”

“Consider the possibilities if Greece, Türkiye, and Cyprus became de facto – or de jure – partners in a pipeline carrying East Med gas to consumers in Bulgaria, Romania, and Italy,” he said. “Imagine a future in which Israeli and Lebanese gas companies were similarly – but independently – reliant on the same Cypriot LNG plant for 10-20%, or even more, of their respective countries’ GDPs.”

He also envisioned bilateral cooperation scenarios between Greece and Turkey and Syria and Turkey, as well as a regional interconnection that would provide backup energy for multiple coastal states.

“Instead of accepting certain ideas as permanently impossible, we ought to be thinking ahead and laying the groundwork,” Baroudi said. “For Greece and Türkiye – as for other pairs of coastal states in the region – a good starting point would be to emulate the Maritime Boundary Agreement agreed to by Lebanon and Israel in 2022.”

Stressing the potential for cooperation to address both energy requirements and the stability required for stronger growth and development, Baroudi – whose books include a 2023 volume about the Lebanon-Israel deal and a forthcoming one urging other East Med countries to do the same – called on the EU to take up the challenge.

“Using dialogue and diplomacy to expand energy cooperation would benefit not just the countries of the East Med but also the entire European Union and much of its surrounding ‘neighborhood’,” he told an audience of energy professionals and key government officials. “That level of promise more than merits the attention of Brussels, the allocation of support resources, and even the designation of a dedicated point-person tasked with facilitating the necessary contacts and negotiations.”

“This is how we need to be thinking if we want to get where we need to go,” Baroudi said. “Instead of allowing ourselves to be discouraged by the presence of obstacles, we need to be investigating new routes that go around them, strengthen the rule of law – especially human rights law – as a basis for the international system, and promote lasting peace among all nations. Only then can we declare victory over what the 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns called ‘man’s inhumanity to man’.”




الخبير في مجال الطاقة رودري بارودي: دول شرق البحر المتوسط يجب أن تتعاون بمجال الطاقة

أشار أحد اهم الخبراء في مجال الطاقة رودي بارودي، في مؤتمر انعقد في أثينا، إلى أن “دول شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط يجب أن تتعاون مع بعضها لزيادة إنتاج وتصدير الطاقة والتخفيف من التوترات الإقليمية”.

 

 

وقال بارودي امام المشاركين في المؤتمر: “يجب ان نضع في الاعتبار الاحتمالات الايجابية إذا أصبحت اليونان وتركيا وقبرص شركاء بحكم الواقع أو بحكم القانون في خط أنابيب ينقل غاز شرق المتوسط إلى المستهلكين في بلغاريا ورومانيا وإيطاليا، وان نتخيل مستقبلًا تعتمد فيه شركات الغاز الإسرائيلية واللبنانية ولكن بشكل مستقل على نفس مصنع الغاز الطبيعي المسال في قبرص”.

 

وأضاف بارودي “لنتصور اهمية وايجابية سيناريوهات التعاون الثنائي بين اليونان وتركيا من جهة وسوريا وتركيا من جهة ثانية إضافة إلى الترابط الإقليمي الذي سيوفر طاقة احتياطية لدول ساحلية متعددة”، لافتا إلى أنه “بدلاً من قبول أفكار معينة على أنها مستحيلة بشكل دائم، يجب أن نفكر في المستقبل ونضع الأساس لاعمال ايجابية مشتركة على ان تكون نقطة البداية الجيدة مماثلة لاتفاقية الحدود البحرية بين لبنان وإسرائيل في عام 2022”.

وشدد بارودي أمام حشد من المتخصصين في مجال الطاقة ومسؤولين حكوميين على أن “استخدام الحوار والدبلوماسية لتوسيع التعاون في مجال الطاقة لن يفيد فقط دول شرق البحر المتوسط ولكن أيضًا جميع دول الاتحاد الأوروبي والكثير من” الجوار “المحيط به وان هذا الاستحقاق المهم يستحق أكثر من اهتمام بروكسل، لا بل يستحق تخصيص موارد الدعم،وتعيين موفد مكلف بتسهيل الاتصالات والمفاوضات اللازمة”.

وختم بارودي بالقول: “هذه هي الطريقة الفضلى التي نحتاجها للتفكير إذا أردنا الوصول إلى حيث يجب ان نكون بدلاً من السماح لأنفسنا بالإحباط بسبب وجود عقبات،فنحن نحتاج إلى التفتيش عن طرق جديدة وحديثة تلتف على الافكار والمواقف القديمة، وتعزيز سيادة القانون وخاصة قانون حقوق الإنسان كأساس للنظام الدولي، وتعزيز السلام الدائم بين جميع الدول،عندها فقط يمكننا إعلان النصر على ما أسماه الشاعر الاسكتلندي روبرت بيرنز في القرن الثامن عشر: وحشية الإنسان للإنسان”.




Saudi Aramco awards $25bn in contracts for gas expansion

Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer, has awarded contracts worth more than $25bn for the second phase of the expansion of its Jafurah gas field and the third phase of expanding its main gas network.

The development of the Jafurah field, which is estimated to hold 200 trillion cubic feet of gas, is expected to cost $100bn and boost the state energy firm’s gas production by more than 60 per cent by 2030.

“These contract awards demonstrate our firm belief in the future of gas as an important energy source, as well as a vital feedstock for downstream industries,” said Amin H. Nasser, Aramco president & CEO.

“The scale of our ongoing investment at Jafurah and the expansion of our master gas system underscores our intention to further integrate and grow our gas business to meet anticipated rising demand.”

Aramco awarded 16 contracts, worth a combined total of around $12.4bn, for phase two development at Jafurah. This phase will include the construction of gas compression facilities, pipelines, the expansion of the Jafurah gas plant, gas processing trains, utilities, sulfur, and export facilities.

The expansion includes the construction of new riyas natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionation facilities in Jubail, including NGL fractionation trains, utilities, storage, and export facilities.

The state-energy giant also awarded 15 lump sum turnkey contracts worth approximately $8.8bn to kick off the phase three expansion of the master gas system. The expansion will increase the size of the network and raise its total capacity by an additional 3.15 billion standard cubic feet per day (bscfd) by 2028 through the installation of around 4,000km of pipelines and 17 new gas compression trains.

Furthermore, Aramco awarded an additional 23 gas rig contracts worth $2.4bn, two-directional drilling contracts worth $612m, and 13 well tie-in contracts at Jafurah, for a total of $1.63bn.

Aramco’s LNG ambitions

Saudi Arabia is working on developing its unconventional gas reserves, which require advanced extraction methods such as those used in the shale gas industry.

Aramco signed 40 corporate procurement agreements worth $6bn with local suppliers in February as the state-owned energy giant seeks to develop the country’s energy services sector while boosting its localisation programme.

The agreements cover the supply of a range of products comprising strategic commodities, such as instrumentation, electrical, and drilling equipment.

Meanwhile, an additional 15 trillion standard cubic feet of gas (scfd) were proven at Aramco’s Jafurah field in February, adding significant volumes to the kingdom’s proven gas and condensate reserves.

The company estimates that Jafurah’s reserves have reached 229 trillion cubic feet of gas and 75 billion barrels of condensates. Jafurah is the country’s largest unconventional non-oil-associated gas field and reportedly the biggest shale gas development outside of the US.

Aramco is expanding its portfolio into LNG at a time when global demand for the fuel has surged, particularly in Europe, which is replacing reduced pipeline supplies from Russia. It forayed into the global LNG market last September by acquiring a minority stake in EIG Partners’ MidOcean Energy in a deal valued at $500m.

The state-energy giant signed non-binding agreements with two US energy firms Sempra and NextDecade, for the supply of 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and 1.2 of mtpa LNG, respectively, for 20 years.




Potential Qatar-Greece investment ties seen in energy, high-tech industries

Greece’s economic resurgence with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the helm is seen to open potential Qatari investments in a wide range of sectors, including energy, tourism, and high-tech industries.

In an exclusive interview with Gulf Times, Energy and Environment Holding CEO Roudi Baroudi underscored the growing bilateral ties of both countries, saying Qatar is well-positioned to capitalise on Greece’s economic stability, which has been attracting foreign direct investments (FDI).

“After the bond and fiscal crisis that Greece went through in 2012-2014, it took them a few years of solid reconsolidating their books with the assistance of the IMF, the World Bank, and especially the EU…the stupendous economic growth brought about by Prime Minister Mitsotakis has brought a lot of FDI back.

“Qatar has always had certain private investments in the financial and energy sectors. Today, Greece is a hub for diverse investment opportunities and its economy is open to different markets other than just tourism, real estate, and industry, but they have direct access to Europe, as well, in terms of oil and gas,” Baroudi explained.

Baoudi noted that the energy sector, particularly liquefied natural gas (LNG), is vital in enhancing further Qatar-Greece investment opportunities and economic ties. He also said Qatar’s decades-long expertise in the LNG industry could help catalyse Greece’s bid to become a major logistics centre.

“Greece has probably the largest ships, crude tankers, and gas tankers in the world, making them one of the leaders in the global maritime business. Qatar’s LNG capabilities are already well-established with more than a dozen LNG ships working for QatarEnergy subsidiaries,” Baroudi noted.

At the Qatar Economic Forum held in Doha last month, HE the Minister of Finance Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari emphasised that Qatar’s energy sector is performing “very well,” citing QatarEnergy’s plans for a new LNG expansion project that would further raise the country’s LNG production capacity to 142mn tonnes per annum.

Al-Kuwari said, “We are going to increase Qatar’s (liquefied natural gas) production by 85% in a phased manner until 2030. We are going to be reaching 142mn tonnes per annum of LNG.”

According to Baroudi, recent developments in Qatar’s energy industry could extend potential investment opportunities with Greece beyond shipping to LNG infrastructure. “Qatar’s expertise could be crucial as Greece expands its LNG port to supply gas to neighbouring countries following the Ukraine-Russian war. QatarEnergy is also making strategic investments in the Eastern Mediterranean, such as in Cyprus and Egypt as part of a larger regional strategy,” he said.

Baroudi also pointed to knowledge exchange as another avenue for collaboration and investment in terms of port management. “There is no question that Hamad Port will benefit a lot from further co-operation with the Port of Piraeus, which is Greece’s largest port, and the second largest in the Mediterranean,” Baroudi stated.

Asked about potential partnerships outside the energy sector and port management, Baroudi said both countries could also forge joint opportunities in digital connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI), and clean tech. Among other industries, Baroudi also noted that Qatar could expand its tourism and hospitality footprint amidst Greece’s favourable economic environment.




EMIR IN GREECE AND CYPRUS

Political 04.06.24
Interview by ALEXIA TASOULI
DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT
POLITICAL.GR NEWSPAPER

Athens, Friday 31st of May 2024: Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad AlThani paid official visits to Cyprus and Greece this week, meeting with senior officials from both countries as part of efforts to expand cooperation. International energy expert Roudi Baroudi, CEO of Dohabased independent consultancy Energy and Environment Holding, sat down to answer a few questions about the outcome and significance of the emir’s mission.

 

Question: Overall, how successful were HH the emir’s visits to Greece and Cyprus?

Answer: Both visits appear to have been very fruitful. HH the emir and his delegation held constructive talks with their counterparts in both countries, and all sides came away with clearer understandings of where the already strong relationships should go next, and how they can get there. Several important first steps were taken toward identifying likely areas for further cooperation, and now both sides have the information they need to come up with proposals for the next steps on several fronts.

 

Q: From your perspective, what are the main takeaways from HH the emir’s trip?

A: There are several elements at play here, multiple processes unfolding according to their own timelines, but all interrelated in some ways. The first thing to consider is that both visits constitute reaffirmations of Qatar’s traditional diplomatic strategy, much of which revolves around having stable and friendly relations with as many counterparts as possible. That might sound a little basic, but it’s really not: many governments “pick sides” in various international disputes, which often amounts to letting other countries decide your foreign policy for you. By contrast, the Qatari model seeks instead to be on good terms with all sides in most disputes, and the value of that approach has been on display for years: Doha has successfully used its good offices as a mediator in the past, and more recently it has done the same for ceasefire talks and other negotiations between Israel and Hamas.

This same philosophy also informs Qatar’s stances in the Mediterranean, where it looks for the warmest possible relations with Greece and Cyprus while simultaneously maintaining close ties with Türkiye, with which both Athens and Nicosia have been at odds for decades. I should mention, too, that Cyprus follows a similar path, maintaining friendly relations with both Israel and Lebanon, for example.

Both Cyprus and Greece also would like to play central roles in the development and buildout of facilities aimed at carrying energy to the European mainland. This is a core part of their respective plans to grow and develop their respective economies, and the necessary investment and expertise will require strong partnerships.

 

Q: So how do these priorities tie in with the emir’s visit?

A: In several ways, really. First, HH the emir’s goodwill visit is a reconnection: the COVID pandemic threw a lot of international issues into hibernation as governments everywhere spent a lot of time looking inward for several years. By visiting now, he’s demonstrating in general that he values Qatar’s relationships with both Cyprus and Greece. The reengagement also bodes well for particulars, and there are several opportunities for cooperation because the parties can help one another. Both Greece and Cyprus want to be part of plans to open new channels for natural gas into Europe, whether it’s Eastern Mediterranean gas or from further afield. For this they could find no better partner than Qatar, which, in addition to its own worldleading LNG industry, has also been acquiring stakes in energy assets around the world. But both countries also want investment in other sectors, too, and once again, both the Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign fund, and various private investors are on the hunt for moneymaking ventures.

 

Q: What does the emir’s trip mean for Greece, in particular?

A: To me the time looks ripe for more cooperation. The period since 20072008 has been very difficult, but the current government under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has done wonders, not just to stabilize the Greek economy and restore hope to the population, but also to help Greece regain its rightful place at the European table. The country is now looking to build on this foundation by fully embracing cuttingedge sectors like digital connectivity and cleantech, but also by reinvigorating its traditional shipping expertise by becoming a major logistics center and by getting more out if its hospitality sector, too. The long recession is over, and some asset classes look very attractive to Qatari investors – and others, as well – especially given the stronger, cleaner governance and leadership on which Mitsotakis has built his reputation.

 

 

Q: What about Cyprus?

A: Another European land of opportunity. All other things being equal, if the world operated according to logic instead of politics, Cyprus would already be a major energy hub. Its location makes it the ideal base for the Eastern Med’s burgeoning offshore gas industry, which also includes strategic ports, telecoms, and other support services. Many analysts see real potential in several sectors, including ports, banking, and a host of technologies. The increased economic activity will also introduce more people to the beaches and other attractions that make the island’s tourism industry so popular. Another ingredient is leadership: President Nikos Christodoulides has been in office for less than a year, but the former diplomat and foreign minister has already shown himself to be both a highly competent Head of State and a stern defender of his country’s economic development & interests.

And all this is not to mention the shipping of the gas itself, for Cyprus is not just part of the European Union: it is also very much an East Mediterranean country, so it stands to reason that it should become a gateway through which some of the world’s newest gas producers can sell their wares into the world’s largest gas market. Whether it’s a pipeline to Greece, an LNG plant to supply customers in Asia and East Africa, or both, it’s a nobrainer that Cyprus is the place to start the journey. To me, this is Cyprus’ destiny, and if it’s further Qatari investment that makes it happen, so much the better. Remember, too, that QatarEnergy is already involved in Cyprus’ gas industry, partnering with ExxonMobil to explore two offshore blocks. The Qataris know the LNG business like no one else, and their robust & steady reliability as partners is unchallenged: in 20172021, despite an illegal blockade imposed by some of their neighbors, they continued to process and ship at the highest rates to keep supplying LNG to all of their customers around the world, helping to calm world markets during a very vulnerable period.

“Baroudi, left, with Mitsotakis at the 2019 EUArab World Summit in Athens, before the latter became Greece’s prime minister. According to Baroudi, Mitsotakis has done much to speed his country’s recovery.”

Finally, the role played by Qatar and its leaders has captured the attention of the international community due to the wise policies of the Ruler of the Gulf state. His efforts have been lauded and appreciated by East and West alike, ranging from visits of goodwill by the Emir to regional countries, to forging relations based on mutual respect and cooperation. It also has been noted that visits by the Emir tend to manifest high levels of support in mediation, bringing peace, providing materials or otherwise, as and when needed.




What’s next after new Energean gas discovery in Israel’s Karish North Field? Expert underlines need for Lebanon to lay groundwork for maritime boundary deals with Cyprus and Syria

DOHA/BEIRUT – By Myriam Balaa: Israel’s latest undersea gas find further demonstrates that Lebanon should be doing everything it can to pave the way for its own offshore oil and gas industry, specifically by settling its maritime boundaries with Cyprus and Syria, one of the region’s foremost authorities on energy development says.

In an interview following Greek/Israeli-owned Energean’s announcement of a second discovery in the Karish North Field adjacent to Lebanese waters, energy consultant Roudi Baroudi said the news was actually good for Lebanon.

“It’s no surprise that they found more. It just underscores what we’ve known for several years: we haven’t located all the resources tucked away beneath the seabed of the East Med, including deposits awaiting discovery off Lebanon’s coast,” said Baroudi, who has more than four decades of experience in the energy business. “The problem is that Lebanon’s ongoing political quagmire has caused significant delays in the development of the country’s nascent offshore hydrocarbon sector.”

Baroudi, who currently serves as CEO of Energy and Environment Holding, an independent consultancy based in Doha, Qatar, confirmed that the new find seemed to be located very close to the maritime boundary line (MBL) agreed to by Lebanon and Israel in October 2022. That agreement, reached after years-long mediation by the United States, was a “necessary step”, he explained, but “it alone has not been sufficient to fully activate Lebanon’s oil and gas industry.”

Asked how Beirut should proceed at this juncture, he stressed the importance of moving ahead with efforts to finalize Lebanon’s MBLs with Cyprus and Syria, “which would achieve full international recognition of Lebanon’s Excusive Economic Zone, thereby reducing the risk for the big energy companies whose assistance we need in order to fully explore and exploit our offshore resources.”

“We’ve already negotiated the different equidistance points for a completed MBL agreement with Cyprus, we just haven’t ratified it,” Baroudi explained. “That means we just have to adjust a few coordinates in order to set a trijunction point where the Lebanese, Cypriot, and Israeli MBLs intersect at sea. And setting that trijunction in the south will automatically simplify the process of setting another in the north for Lebanon-Cyprus-Syria”.

He also played down claims in some circles that a significant gap exists between the Lebanon-Cyprus line and the Cyprus-Israel line, making it more difficult to set a trijunction.

“There is a gap, of course, but it’s really quite small,” Baroudi told the reporters “The proof of this is in the delineation of the offshore blocks issued by both Lebanon and Cyprus about a decade ago. On all the international blocks maps of the area, even including the ones issued by the oil and gas companies, which focus on accurate portrayals of acreage, there is no overlap. In fact, virtually all of the line between Lebanese and Cypriot blocks precisely tracks almost a MBL line agreed which Nicosia and Beirut agreed to in the unratified agreement. The difference at the southern end of the trijunction point is very, very small.”

The smaller the gap, he explained, the easier it should be to finish defining Lebanon’s EEZ.

“Since the lines are so close, setting a trijunction – the point where the Lebanese, Cypriot, and Israeli boundaries intersect – should be relatively easy,” he said. “In addition, agreeing that trijunction in the south would automatically simplify the process of setting one in the north for Lebanon-Cyprus-Syria. And keep in mind: Lebanon has strong & friendly relations with both Cyprus and Syria, so these negotiations will be a lot friendlier than the ones with Israel, which had to be pursued indirectly via American mediation.”

When asked about how any new diplomatic efforts might be affected by the long-running political paralysis in Beirut, where the presidency has been vacant since late 2022 because rival parties in Parliament can’t agree on a successor to former President Michel Aoun, Baroudi said the quagmire only accentuated the need for action.

“Right now, Lebanon can’t officially ratify into a new MBL agreement with either Cyprus or Syria because it requires a presidential signature, but that doesn’t stop us from carrying out the necessary talks,” he said. “In fact, we should be rushing to get all of this settled now so that when we finally fill the vacancy at Baabda Palace, we’ll have everything ready for the new president’s signature.”

In addition to settling its maritime boundaries, Baroudi said Lebanon also had another reason to re-engage with neighboring countries.

“It’s been almost ten years since Cyprus proposed a unitization agreement (joint development agreement) with Lebanon for joint production from any deposits that straddle their shared MBL,” he recalled, “and the Lebanese paralysis has kept it from happening. We need to revive this process and get a deal in place. That way, again, once we have a president in office, we’ll be ready to hit the ground running, with no further delays, and start collecting the badly needed gas revenues”.




The War of the Straits: Impact on the World Energy Market

By Roudi Baroudi, TLN Senior Fellow

The recent significant disruptions in shipping through the Strait of Bab el Mandeb, situated between Yemen and Djibouti, underscore the geopolitical fragility of the waterway akin to that of the more widely acknowledged Strait of Hormuz. Among the six globally sensitive passages, including the Bosphorus, the Panama Canal and Malacca, the Middle East region boasts three critical and strategic maritime routes: the Suez Canal, Bab el Mandeb in the south of the Red Sea, and the Strait of Hormuz.

These passages witness the transit of not only crude oil and petroleum products but also liquefied natural gas (LNG). Bab el Mandeb, with its unique characteristic as a transit route for both northbound and southbound traffic, plays a pivotal role. Approximately 12 percent of total seaborne quantities traded to Europe, the U.S. and key Asian markets, including China, India and Singapore, pass through the Bab el Mandeb Strait. Protecting the unimpeded flow of energy trade on a global scale is a vital commitment, essential for maintaining it sustainable, affordable and securing supply to the world.

Reflecting on the 1960s, when the Suez Canal faced disruptions during and after the 1967 war, several nations, notably Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, collectively financed the construction of the SUMED pipeline. This double pipeline, stretching 320 kilometers from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean – passing entirely through Egypt, was instrumental in ensuring a continuous flow of approximately 2.5 million barrels of crude oil to Europe.

Saudi Aramco subsequently erected a dual pipeline from the Abqaiq Oil Field (in the east of the Kingdom) to the Yanbu Industrial Port (in the west), capable of transporting 5 to 7 million barrels per day. This strategic deterrent pipeline was a precautionary measure in case of a complete Strait of Hormuz closure. These initiatives not only protect the free trade of oil and gas but also underscore the significance of securing the unimpeded shipping of hydrocarbon products for reliable and secure energy trade.

In a similar vein, the U.S. has previously faced similar challenges and responded strategically. During the Tankers War, then-President Ronald Reagan initially ordered Kuwaiti tankers to be escorted, eventually extending the protection to all commercial ships navigating in and out of the Strait of Hormuz. This broad security measure included a 24-hour air surveillance conducted by AWACS planes.
Applying lessons learned, similar measures could be implemented in Bab el Mandeb, considering its geographical similarity to the Strait of Hormuz, with both having narrow coast-to-coast widths at specific points. The minimum width of the Strait of Hormuz is 21 nautical miles, while Bab el Mandeb measures around 19 miles.

The significance of energy transit choke points through narrow channels cannot be overstated. As one-half of the world’s crude oil supply relies on maritime transportation, protecting the free flow of oil and gas through maritime shipping routes is crucial for global energy price stability and security.

Dr. Roudi Baroudi, currently serves as CEO of Energy and Environment Holding, an independent consultancy based on Doha, has written extensively on the region, including “Maritime Boundaries in the Mediterranean: The Way Forward”, a 2021 book that called for the very sort of creative diplomacy used to reach the Lebanon-Israel agreement. His latest book – “Climate and Energy in the Mediterranean: What the Blue Economy Means for a Greener Future” (published by the TLN this year and distributed by Eurospan). Baroudi is also a Senior Fellow at the Transatlantic Leadership Network, a Washington, DC-based Think tank. He is a recipient of TLN’s 2023 “Leadership Award” for his ongoing work to promote peace and mutual cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.




Regional Energy Expert Roudi Baroudi Earns Award from Washington Think Tank




Regional Energy Expert Roudi Baroudi Earns Award from Washington Think Tank

Transatlantic Leadership Network Recognizes Author for Contributions to Peaceful Development in Eastern Mediterranean

WASHINGTON, DC November 9, 2023: Doha-based Lebanese author Roudi Baroudi was one of two people presented with the 2023 Transatlantic Leadership Award at a ceremony in Washington this week.

Although circumstances relating to the conflict in the Gaza Strip prevented Baroudi from attending the event, both he and Joshua Volz – the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, Eurasia, Africa, and the Middle East and the Office of International Affairs at the US Department of Energy – were recognized by the Transatlantic Leadership Network (TLN). Each was cited at a gala dinner on Monday for his “valuable contribution in building a peaceful and prosperous Eastern Mediterranean” as part of the TLN’s 2nd Annual Conference on Freedom of the Media.

“I was deeply honored to be named a recipient of this prestigious award, and I will always be grateful for the many ways in which the TLN has supported my work for several years now,” Baroudi said. “I also look forward to working together in the future so that one day, our descendants can know the benefits of peace and coexistence. It is precisely in difficult and trying times that cooler heads must be able and willing to look at the reasons for current bloodshed and recrimination, then envision pathways to a better future.”

Baroudi, who serves as CEO of independent consultancy Energy and Environment Holding in Doha, is a long-time champion of dialogue, cooperation, and practical solutions to both the global climate crisis and recurrent tensions in the East Med. A regular speaker at regional energy and policy conferences, Baroudi’s insights are also avidly sought by local and international media, as well as governments, major energy companies, and investors.

Having advised both public and private sector actors on a wide variety of energy issues, Baroudi is widely credited with bringing unique perspective to all manner of policy discussions.  He is the author of several books, including “Maritime Disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean: The Way Forward” (2021), and “Climate and Energy in the Mediterranean: What the Blue Economy Means for a Greener Future” (2022). Together with Notre-Dame University – Louaize, Baroudi has also published a study of the US-brokered October 2022 Maritime Boundary Agreement between Lebanon and Israel, and is currently preparing another volume on Lebanon’s prospects for similar deals with Cyprus and Syria.

The TLN describes itself as “a nonpartisan, independent, international network of practitioners, private sector leaders and policy analysts dedicated to strengthening and reorienting transatlantic relations to the rapidly changing dynamics of a globalizing world.”

Monday’s ceremony was attended by a broad cross-section of high-profile figures, including senior officials from the Departments of Energy and State, numerous members of Washington’s extensive diplomatic corps, and representatives of both international organizations and various media outlets.

 




بارودي مُصرّ على التفاؤل وينشر الخارطة: اكتشاف الغاز لا يكون دائماً من خلال حفر البئر الاول

بارودي مُصرّ على التفاؤل وينشر الخارطة: اكتشاف الغاز لا يكون دائماً من خلال حفر البئر الاول

 الدراسات والأبحاث تؤكد ان احتمالات اكتشاف الغاز في المياه اللبنانية مرتفعة جداً

خاص “اخبار اليوم”

أكد الخبير في شؤون الطاقة رودي بارودي  أن القصة لم تنته مع عدم اكتشاف الغاز في البئر الاول إذ أنه من المهم جداً معرفة أن كل بلوك بحري يجب تقسيمه إلى عدد من الآبار ومن الطبيعي جداً أن تقوم شركات الاستكشاف بحفر  آبار عدة قبل اكتشاف البئر الرئيسي الذي يحتوي على مخزون تجاري من الغاز.

و في حديث الى وكالة “أخبار اليوم”، اوضح بارودي إنه لم ييأس من عدم اكتشاف الغاز في البئر الأول، ذلك أن أكبر حقل للغاز في البحر المتوسط الذي هو حقل “ظُهر” والذي يقع في منطقة بلوك شروق في مصر، ويمتد على الحدود بين مصر وقبرص. كانت حقوق استغلال هذا الحقل تعود لشركة شل لمدة 15 عاماً، وخلال هذه الفترة قامت الشركة بحفر العديد من الآبار ولكنها لم تنجح في العثور على أي كميات من الغاز حتى قامت ببيع حقوق الاستكشاف لشركة إيني الإيطالية في عام 2015، التي بدورها حفرت بئراً واحداً على عمق 5100 متر لتجد أكبر مخزون من الغاز في شرق المتوسط والمقدر بـ 850 مليار متر مكعب.

ورأى بارودي أن هذا الأمر يشير إلى أن اكتشاف الغاز لا يكون دائماً من خلال حفر البئر الاول. وقد تكرر هذا الأمر مع حقول الغاز في قبرص إذ إنه لم تكتشف أي كمية من الغاز التجاري في البئر الاول، علماً أن حقل أفروديت في قبرص والقريب من لبنان احتاجت شركة نوبل لحفر بئر على عمق 5800 متر لكي تجد الغاز، والخريطة المرفقة تبين الاعماق في البحر في كل من قبرص واسرائيل ومصر للحقول المستكشفه ومنها: كاريش (٤٨٨٠ متر) ، تمار (٥٠٠٠ متر) ، لفثيان (٥١٧٠ متر)، افروديت (٥٨٠٠ متر) ، كرونوس (٢٢٨٧ متر)، ظُهر (٤١٣١ متر)، كاليبسو (٢٠٧٤ متر).

من هنا من غير الجائز علمياً القول بإنه لا يوجد كميات من الغاز التجاري  في البلوك 9 اذ ان عملية الاستكشاف لم تشمل لغاية تاريخه إلا بئراً واحداً وعلى عمق فقط 3500 متر.

أما عن وجود مؤامرة تقوم بها شركات التنقيب، فقال بارودي: من المؤسف أن بعض المحللين وخبراء النفط يتحدثون عن مؤامرة يقوم بها الكونسورتيوم المكون من شركات عالمية وهي إيني، توتال، وقطر للطاقة وهي من الشركات العملاقة في مجال الطاقة والتي لا تدخل في البازار السياسي ولديها مصالح في كل بلاد العالم.

واضاف: علينا أن نستفيد من وجودها في لبنان بدل اتهامها ورمي الشائعات عليها. ولكن من الممكن أن يؤثر الوضع العام الحالي، وخصوصاً أن الحرب دائرة على حدودنا أن تقوم الشركات بتعليق أنشطتها موقتاً ريثما تنجلي الصورة.

وتابع: الاتفاق المبرم بين الدولة اللبنانية والكونسورتيوم المكلف بالاستكشاف ينص على أن تقوم الشركات بحفر اثنين من آبار الاستكشاف قبل أن يتخذ قرار بشأن وجود الغاز أو عدمه. من هنا، فأن بث الأجواء السلبية وفكرة المؤامرة لا تفيد لبنان بشيء، بل على العكس علينا المثابرة بالعمل للحفاظ على حقوقنا.

وختم:  كما من واجب الحكومة والمجلس النيابي المباشرة فوراً بالاصلاحات المالية والاقتصادية المطلوبة من لبنان لكي نستطيع أن نواكب عمليات الاستكشاف، فلا تذهب الثروة النفطية الموعودة في نهر الفساد الجارف الذي نعاني منه.