May 17 (UPI) -- The draw on one of the largest natural gas fields offshore Israel should peak this year as Jordan takes its first deliveries, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil said.
Delek and Avner Oil Exploration reported this as their first quarter for earnings reports reflecting natural gas exports from the Tamar field to Jordan.
Tamar and the nearby Leviathan gas field combine for an estimated 28 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, with Leviathan accounting for more than half of the aggregate. The two companies said Jordanian deliveries, coupled with a rise in demand in the domestic market, meant gas consumption during the first quarter was up 9 percent compared with last year.
Yossi Abu, the CEO of the companies, said this is the first report outlining natural gas shipments to Jordan.
"The export of gas from Tamar, together with the streamlining of the Israeli market, is resulting in a rise in demand for natural gas from Tamar, and we expect 2017 to be recorded as a peak year in gas consumption," he said in a statement.
Jordan in the past has struggled to find a reliable source of natural gas in part because of downstream problems in Egypt. Jordanian companies Arab Potash and Jordan Bromine secured a total gross quantity of 66 billion cubic feet of natural gas from the Tamar field.
First quarter 2017 is the last time Delek and Avner issue separate financial results. Starting Sunday, Avner will move under Delek's umbrella.
Delek for the first quarter recorded a net profit of $39.8 million, up about 20 percent from the same period last year. Avner's net profit of $39.1 million marked an improvement of more than 25 percent.