1. How important is WECA as a meeting platform for the industry?
The WECA event is a very important event for our industry as it brings together the oil & gas and finance & investment worlds to discuss emerging and re-emerging energy investment opportunities. I believe that the event is especially important this year given its focus on energy transition and sustainability within the oil and gas sector – an issue that will only keep growing in importance.
2. You’ll be delivering a Keynote Address at WECA19 entitled “The sustainable E&P company of the future” – why is this topic important for you and Energean?
We have chosen to talk on this topic as we fully agree with the fact that oil & gas industry needs to be as transparent as possible when it comes to ESG and sustainability reporting and ultimately, be seen as a responsible industry to the public. We think that meeting the issues regarding ESG face on is key to engaging investment in the industry and essentially producing energy products in the most sustainable way as possible. The industry has pulled billions of people out of poverty over the decades and needs to marry its responsibility to providing affordable energy people with its responsibility to the environment.
As an industry, energy companies have been constantly evolving, whether this be to adapt to political, technological or regulatory changes. Energean has been dynamic in keeping our strategy inline to our closely held ESG principles, which includes a focus on natural gas as a key transition fuel, allowing a significant decrease in the use of coal as main source of power. Energean is already a proud signatory of the UN Global Compact and our strategy to help gasify the Israeli economy will enable the country to replace coal with natural gas. The Karish Development that will initially supply 4.7BCMA of gas and potentially up to 8.0 BCMA to Israel will generate initially 2474 MW of electricity and enable the replacing of 2.65 mln tonnes of coal burn, saving 10.8 million tonnes of CO2.
Moreover, Energean is implementing and partaking in a number of initiatives to further show its commitment to ESG and sustainability, including linking Executive pay to our ESG goals from 2020 onwards, and disclosing in line with CDP requirements.
3. With such phenomenal growth over a short period, what is on the horizon for Energean?
We have grown over the past decade from a small private independent E&P company with 2 million barrels in reserves into a $2 billion leading FTSE 250 player with presence in 9 Countries 610 million boe in reserves of which 80% in gas and a path toward a >140,000 boe production per day target in the next 18 months. We remain focused on our core geographical area, the Mediterranean, and our primary objective is to deliver the Karish project, integrate Edison, discover more gas through the drilling of three exploration wells in the region and “Fill the Boat” i.e. achieve full utilization of our newbuild FPSO that has 8 BCMA capacity through additional gas sales in the East Med region. We as a management team are fully aligned with our shareholders through substantial equity holding in Energean and being capital disciplined our target is to start paying dividends from our cashflow stream that is underpinned by long term contracts as soon as we are in full operation in Israel.
4. To what extent does the recent Edison E&P acquisition reflect the vision and growth objectives of Energean?
Our strategy has always been to assess growth opportunities on a case-by-case basis and this acquisition is in line with this approach as we view it to be another step on Energean’s growth trajectory at favourable and accretive acquisition metrics. With the acquisition of the Edison E&P portfolio and as Karish field comes on stream in 2021, we have a clear trajectory to >140,000 boe per day of production, of which approximately 80% is gas.
Through the Edison acquisition, we are not only acquiring a high-quality portfolio of assets but also a strong operating team that will support the day-to-day operations of the enlarged group.
Our strategy remains focused on becoming the leading E&P focused on the Mediterranean region and this acquisition only serves to reinforce this strategy. As you will have seen, our Karish development project has continued to progress very well whilst we have been assessing this acquisition opportunity and we will pursue this same disciplined approach to the development projects that we are acquiring, namely Cassiopea in Italy and NEA in Egypt. We will continue to assess acquisition opportunities within our core region of focus on a case-by-case basis, if we see them to be at favourable and accretive metrics, and apply the principles of disciplined capital allocation, risk mitigation and effective project delivery across our operations to continue generating value to all our shareholders.
Hear more from Mathios Rigas, speaking at the 2019 World Energy Capital Assembly on the panel “Thriving in a Low Carbon Era – Energy Transition, Investor Sentiment and Oil & Gas Companies of the Future “.
Mathios Rigas, Chief Executive Officer, Energean
Mr. Rigas is founding shareholder of Energean and since 2007 has served as the company’s Chairman & CEO. Mr. Rigas is a Petroleum Engineer with a combination of oil & gas and investment banking experience. Prior to setting up Energean Oil & Gas, Mr. Rigas spent 18 years in investment banking and private equity investments. Between 2001 and 2007, Mr. Rigas was Managing Partner of Capital Connect Venture Managers, a Private Equity fund in Greece with investments in innovative enterprises in IT, Healthcare, Waste Management and Food Industries. From 1999 until 2001 Mr. Rigas was in charge of Piraeus Bank's Shipping Investment Banking division. Prior to that (1993-1999) he was Vice President of Energy & Project Finance at Chase Manhattan Bank in London where he arranged oil & gas financings in excess of $5 billion. His career started at Arthur Andersen in 1991 as a consultant in the energy sector. He holds a Degree in Mining & Metallurgical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and a MSc/ DIC Degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Imperial College in London.