Exxon acquires over 1.7 mln exploration acreage offshore Egypt

Exxon marked its foray into gas exploration in Egypt by winning awards in one of the country’s largest-ever oil and gas exploration tenders in February. (file photo: Reuters)
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Updated 30 December 2019

Exxon acquires over 1.7 mln exploration acreage offshore Egypt

Exxon Mobil Corp. said on Monday it had acquired more than 1.7 million acres for exploration offshore Egypt, strengthening its portfolio in the eastern Mediterranean.
Operations at the 1.2 million North Marakia Offshore block located about five miles offshore Egypt’s northern coast, and 543,000 acres in the North East El Amriya Offshore block in the Nile Delta are scheduled to begin in 2020.
Exxon marked its foray into gas exploration in Egypt by winning awards in one of the country’s largest-ever oil and gas exploration tenders in February.
Egypt Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla had said that the country expects investments of at least $750 million to $800 million in the first stage of exploration in the total of 12 concessions announced in February.
Italy’s Eni’s discovery of the giant Zohr field in 2015, the largest in the Mediterranean and estimated to hold about 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, has raised interest in exploration in Egypt, with the country reaching maritime demarcation agreements with several countries in the region.


Dubai rents may be bottoming out as ‘green shoots’ appear

Updated 20 January 2020

Dubai rents may be bottoming out as ‘green shoots’ appear

  • An estimated 45,000 homes were completed in Dubai in 2019 according to Chesterton estimates

LONDON: Confidence may be returning to Dubai property despite a bloated market for off-plan homes, according to a report from Chestertons, the real estate broker.

Although apartment and villa sales prices were down 2 percent and 3 percent respectively in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the previous quarter, rental rates are stabilizing.

But supply issues continue to represent the biggest challenge facing the market, with 45,000 new units completed in 2019 and that expected to double this year.

“The Dubai residential market in Q4 2019 is alluding to a more positive outlook for 2020 thanks to the slowdown of sales price declines and the leveling of rental rates,” said Chris Hobden, of Chestertons MENA. “This does, however, have to be tempered by the volume of new units scheduled for delivery in 2020, which makes the short-term recovery of prices in the emirate unlikely.”

In the rental market, no movement was witnessed in the fourth quarter with the market supported by a draft law which would fix rental rates for three years upon the signing of a contract. 

“To ensure high occupancy in 2020, landlords will have to be realistic in the face of tough market conditions. The incentives previously offered to tenants, such as rent-free periods, multiple cheques and short-term leases, will continue, with an increase in tenant demand for monthly direct debit payments also likely” added Hobden.