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Year of transformation for Egyptian energy sector

Year of transformation for Egyptian energy sector

Feb 08, 2017
4 min read
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This year will be one of transformation in the Egyptian energy sector as the country pursues its roadmap to becoming a regional energy hub, according to law firm Andrews Kurth Kenyon.

Projects in Egypt -- spanning onshore and offshore oil and gas, petrochemicals and power generation -- are attracting significant international interest and investment, creating new opportunities for inward investors from across the energy and infrastructure spectrum.

Andrews Kurth Kenyon’s Middle East practice specializes in Energy related transactions and projects in the MENA region.  The firm is a recognized market leader in supporting internationalization of advanced Technology and know-how from Europe and North America into the region. Its LNG, Renewables, Water, and Energy Finance practices in the region are continuing to grow in strength alongside the firm’s core Energy and Technology practices.

Since 2015, Andrews Kurth Kenyon has been actively collaborating with the Egyptian law firm Open Chance & Associates to better support clients who are increasingly moving towards opportunities in the deep water gas projects in the Mediterranean; the onshore and shallow water oil and gas projects in the Nile Delta; Western Desert and Gulf of Suez; and the refining, petrochemical, power and water sectors.

Andrews Kurth Kenyon has further strengthened its Dubai-based Middle East team with the recent appointments of partners Patricia Tiller and Chris Richardson and counsel Yasser Yaqub. Patricia is an experienced commercial projects lawyer advising clients on the full life cycle of energy and infrastructure projects. Chris is an international oil & gas lawyer and former C-suite energy industry executive with over a decade of experience advising clients on transactions and projects around the globe. Yasser focuses his practice on advising sponsors, lenders and governments in respect of the development and financing of power, desalination and other infrastructure projects, as well as privatizations and mergers and acquisitions relating to sectors as diverse as power, shipping, mining, telecommunications and oil and gas across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Speaking ahead of the Egypt Petroleum Show on 14-16 February, Hugh Fraser, office managing partner of Andrews Kurth (Middle East) DMCC, said: “We can reasonably expect 2017 to be a year of transformation as the country’s oil and gas prospects continue to attract the interest of the international petroleum community.

“At the end of 2016 the country’s Petroleum Minister chaired a strategic forum that set out a roadmap for Egypt to become a regional energy hub. This aspiration is underpinned by logic given Egypt’s refining and LNG facilities, the proposed Tahrir petrochemicals complex, the exploration and production activities in the East Mediterranean and the presence to the north of the world’s third-largest energy consumer – the European Union.

“Opportunities in deepwater gas development projects, onshore and shallow water oil and gas projects, refinery and petrochemical industry projects, and the power generation sector are all attracting client interest in Egypt. The scale of opportunity is demonstrated by the Eni-led Zohr project and BP’s West Nile Delta Project, which between them are anticipated to involve US$24 billion of investment,” said Fraser.

Andrews Kurth Kenyon partner Mark Thurber, who specialises in leading transactions across varied sectors of the energy and infrastructure industries, added: “The Egyptian Government appears to remain committed to its liberalization plans for the gas and electricity markets, which will offer some of the best opportunities for entrepreneurial Egyptian businesses to push into the market with the right financial investors and technology partners. These are complex and ambitious programs and while it remains to be seen whether there will be a major breakthrough on this front in 2017 power generation will certainly be a significant market for the foreseeable future.”

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