Skip to comments.Israel pushed to spell out gas export plan
Posted on 05/20/2013 7:30:48 AM PDT by haffast
TEL AVIV, Israel, May 17 (UPI) -- Nobel Energy of Houston, which discovered Israel's big natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean, is pressing the government to decide on an energy export policy as the prospect of an undersea pipeline to Turkey gains credibility.
Israel's deep-water Tamar field, found in 2009 and containing an estimated 9 trillion-10 trillion cubic feet of gas, began production March 31.
But Nobel and Israeli partner Delek Energy, the team that discovered Tamar and other fields off Israel, is reluctant to develop the much bigger Leviathan field, found in 2010, until it the government makes up its mind what it wants to do.
Leviathan is expected to go onstream in 2016.
"We need to commit to develop Leviathan this year, but we can't do it without an export policy," Nobel Chief Executive Officer Charles Davidson cautioned in April.
The government wants to use the gas initially to fuel power stations, thereby reducing electricity costs by cutting out expensive imported fuel. But there will clearly be a large volume available for export.
In 2012, Israel set up a committee to advise the government on the gas reserves, among the largest offshore finds in the world, and it reportedly recommended exporting just over half the country's gas production.
Nobel says it needs to export, and soon, to underwrite the $4 billion cost of developing Leviathan.
More strikes are likely in Israel's Exclusive Economic Zone, which abut Cypriot waters where Nobel Energy has found in gas in the Aphrodite field.
Initial estimates are it contains at least 7 tcf, with more strikes expected.
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said a couple of weeks ago it's too early to talk of an energy deal with Israel but that Ankara's open to energy cooperation.
(Excerpt) Read more at upi.com ...
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