Gazprom, Total may be Israeli gas players

Aug. 21, 2012 at 5:59 AM

JERUSALEM, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- French supermajor Total and Russian energy giant Gazprom are among potential contenders for a role in the giant Leviathan gas field in Israel, partners said.

Delek Group and Noble Energy are among the major offshore players in the Israeli natural gas sector. They've discovered enough gas in the Tamar and Leviathan fields to last the country 150 years.

In March, Delek shareholders suggested Israel would need more than $10 billion worth of export infrastructure for the natural gas.

Israeli business newspaper Globes reports Gazprom and Total are among the major energy companies thought to be potential investors in the Leviathan field.

"Closing the financial package for the Tamar project and completion of the terms for withdrawing the balance of money for the financing on the basis of the Leviathan project brings us to a new era that is full of opportunities," Delek Drilling's Chief Executive Officer Yossi Abu was quoted as saying.

Environmental concerns and a lack of available land are hindering Israel's ability to build a liquefied natural gas plant to export the reserves. Noble said an LNG facility could cost as much as $5 billion and any offshore facility would be a national security concern.

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