by WorldTribune Staff, February 24, 2017
Texas-based Noble Energy said it is set to begin developing Israel’s massive offshore Leviathan gas field.
The first phase of the project will begin immediately, the company said in a statement issued on Feb. 23. Noble Energy said it expects the first gas to flow in 2019.
Leviathan, discovered in 2010 in the Mediterranean Sea west of Haifa, is estimated to hold 16 trillion to 18 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Nobel is working in partnership with the Israeli firm Delek Drilling on the Leviathan project.
“Bringing Leviathan online will expand Israel’s supply of natural gas, further support the state’s commitment to convert coal-fired power generation facilities to cleaner burning gas, and provide affordable energy resources to Israeli citizens and neighboring countries in the under-supplied region,” Noble CEO David Stover said in the statement.
On Feb. 22, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the announcement with a post on Twitter.
“This is a day of good news for the Israeli economy and Israeli citizens,” he tweeted. “The process will provide gas supply to Israel, and will advance cooperation with regional states.”
To approve the deal, Netanyahu, who at the time was serving as the economy minister following the resignation of Aryeh Deri over the Leviathan issue, invoked a clause in the Restrictive Trade Practices Law that allows the economy minister to approve a monopoly if it is a matter of national security.