Photo Credit: Moshe Shai / Flash 90
An aeriel view of the Israeli 'Tamar' gas processing rig 24 km off the Israeli southern coast of Ashkelon. Noble Energy and Delek are the main partners in the Tamar gas field, estimated to contain 10 trillion cubic feet of gas. June 23, 2014. Photo by Moshe Shai/FLASH90

A sudden failure in the flow of natural gas from the Tamar gas field has had power companies scrambling.

“Due to a malfunction discovered during preplanned maintenance work in the Tamar gas field, the supply of natural gas from the site has completely ceased,” the Energy Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

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Lower power plants were forced to use alternative fuel for the duration while a crack in a gas pipeline about 15 miles off the coast (24 km) was under repair. Representatives from Noble Energy, the firm that runs Tamar, told the ministry in a meeting on Friday morning that repairs would likely take until the end of this week, at least.

The Calcalist newspaper estimated it was likely that consumers would be forced to pick up the tab for increased expenses of alternative fuel to the power companies.

Meanwhile, the IDF has been drafted to provide dozens of tankers to transport diesel fuel from oil refineries to private power plants, according to a report by Globes.

A number of other tankers were leased from the Israel Electric Company and the Paz Oil Company, according to the report.

It’s not yet clear how long the crisis will last.

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