More gas offshore Israel than originally thought

The revision to the reserves in the Tamar field show offshore Israel hasn't yet reached its full potential, company CEO says.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   July 3, 2017 at 6:18 AM
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July 3 (UPI) -- An upward revision to the reserve estimate for the Tamar gas field offshore Israel shows the region hasn't yet realized its potential, Delek Drilling said.

An independent reviewer, Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc., said the volume of natural gas estimated in the Tamar field stands at 11.2 trillion cubic feet, with an additional 14.6 million barrels of condensate, a 13 percent increase from the previous estimate. Condensate is an ultra-light mixture of hydrocarbon liquids.

Delek CEO Yossi Abu said in a statement emailed to UPI that Tamar has already been a significant basin for Israel.

"The updated reserves data indicate that the geological potential of the Levant basin has not yet been fully tapped," he said.

Working through its subsidiaries, the company holds a considerable interest in Tamar and larger Leviathan gas fields in the basin. In its latest financial disclosure, Delek boasted gains from exploration and production were up 15 percent year-on-year.

Once on stream, Tamar and Leviathan could account for more than 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas production per day. Leviathan, the larger of the two, is slated to start deliveries by the end of 2019.

"We will continue to work to make natural gas the main engine driving the Israeli electricity and industry markets, alongside penetrating new target markets such as transportation," Abu said.

The companies behind Leviathan have already secured a loan agreement with dozens of banks, led by J.P. Morgan and HSBC, for about $1.75 billion to finance the project.

Jordanian power companies are among the first to express interest in natural gas produced offshore Israel. Delek said earlier this year the eventual export from Tamar is leading to a potential record for demand for regional natural gas.

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