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October 7, 2015 / 24 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Leviathan’

Millionaire Geologist Langotsky to Knesset Committee: Don’t Sell Offshore Gas to Egypt – Are You Mad?

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

(JNi.media) The geologist behind Israel’s offshore natural gas field discoveries, Yossi Langotsky, told the Knesset Economic Committee on Monday, July 6, 2105, that “it is forbidden to export gas from the Tamar [gas field] to Egypt before the Leviathan [field] is connected —are you mad?”

The committee is reviewing the government’s proposal on a deal with the gas producers. The Knesset appears split between those urging the signing of a mediocre deal, giving the producers some advantages, but at the same time ending the 5-year delay in getting the off-shore energy over to Israel—and those who insist the gas producers could make a better offer that would result in significantly reducing the average Israeli’s energy costs.

Langotsky conceded that “all the security experts have decided that, for security reasons, we should export the gas to Egypt.”

“But it is stupidity, and national irresponsibility,” he protested, citing Former Shell president John Hofmeister, who warned in a Globes interview in June that “for the sake of Israel’s security, it should keep the natural gas it has found in the country, and convert everything it can to operate on gas.”

Hofmeister cautioned further: “Israel has many enemies and no oil. What will happen if an embargo imposed on it? If you think someone will come to the rescue, think again.”

Langotsky told the committee that the gas companies “are inherently thuggish. They want to maximize profits, it is their goal. But the state of Israel? Are you stupid? If, God forbid, something should happen to the Tamar field, or the pipe—sure, there will be a commission of inquiry to decide who’s at fault, but what good would it do us? ”

Langotsky, who for more than 10 years has been the driving force behind the off shore gas project, has been drilling the Promised Land for more than 40 years. And he knows all about thuggish gas companies — he spent several years fighting in arbitration to finally get his share in the discovery, in late 2011, about $100 million, give or take.

Security Cabinet Unanimously Approves Moving Quickly to Develop and Expand Israel’s Gas Fields

Friday, June 26th, 2015

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The Security Cabinet unanimously decided on Thursday, that at this time, it is of decisive importance to move quickly to develop and expand the natural gas fields that have been discovered off Israel’s coasts, out of concern for state security and the foreign relations of the State of Israel.

The Security Cabinet also adopted Economy Minister Aryeh Deri’s proposal to transfer his authority under Article 52 of the 1988 Restrictive Trade Practices Law for Government approval. The outline will be published in the coming days and submitted for a public hearing

US Secy of State Kerry is Shareholder in Noble Energy’s Israeli Gas Group

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

An emerging compromise between the government and the natural gas group that discovered Israel’s offshore reservoirs is being discussed by the political-security cabinet Thursday (June 25) just as news is revealed the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is one of the shareholders in Noble Energy.

In a 2013 declaration of assets published on opensecrets.org, Kerry’s shares in Noble Energy totaled an estimated $500,000 to $1 million.

The revelation comes as the cabinet mulls a compromise that would eliminate the need to break up the energy group formed by Noble Energy and Delek, Ltd.

Also on the table is the issue of what will happen with gas agreements Israel has with customers in Egypt if this issue is not sorted out quickly. A regulatory quagmire has stalled the process of setting up a pipeline to supply the gas from Leviathan to the British Gas liquefaction facility at Idku, Egypt.

Last June, the Leviathan partners had signed a letter of intent with BG in a $30 billion deal to supply 105 BCM of gas to the facility for 15 years. One sixth of the reservoir’s gas field would be exported in the deal, which is designed to make its development worthwhile.

In May 2014, the Tamar partners had signed a letter of intent with Spanish company Union Fenosa, which has a gas liquefaction facility in Damietta, Egypt. The Tamar group would supply the facility in Damietta with 70 BCM over 15 years, a deal worth nearly $20 billion. Union Fenosa Fenosa would pay for a gas pipeline to connect the Tamar reservoir to the Egyptian facility.

But Israel’s infamous snarl of political red tape got in the way, and everything came to a halt.

Last December, Israel Antitrust Authority director-general Prof. David Gilo ruled the gas sector must be restructured. Israel’s Antitrust Authority accused the Noble Energy – Delek Ltd. group of forming an illegal monopoly, raising red flags for others who called on the state to nationalize its gas reserves.

As a result of the regulatory quagmire, negotiations with Union Fenosa stalled – and then stopped. A senior company executive told Globes the firm has continued to hold talks with the Tamar group, but said “the situation between us and the Tamar partners is complicated and difficult. The negotiations between us have reached an impasse.”

Since Egypt does not have infinite patience or time to wait for gas to supply its local economy, it is now exploring other options. According to a report by Ernst & Young, it appears likely that Royal Dutch Shell will sell gas to the British Gas liquefaction facility in Idku. Another possible option is the Aphrodite reservoir in Cyprus.

Likewise, Jordan – which also is in process of negotiating a contract to import gas from Israel – has no time to waste in obtaining affordable natural gas for her citizens. She, too, is now seeking other alternatives thanks to Israeli red tape and political games. One possibility under discussion is the Gaza marine reservoir.

If that happens, Israel’s nascent gas export industry will drown.

Last December (2014), Kerry spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an effort to help resolve the issue. At the time, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said in a statement, “We continue to engage and we support all parties to move forward with the natural gas deal signed between Noble Energy and entities in Jordan and Egypt. We strongly believe that these deals would enhance energy security in the region.”

Since that time, Netanyahu appointed National Economic Council chairman Eugene Kandel to try to reach a compromise solution.

The energy group has been negotiating with the government ever since. The group hopes to continue operating as is, pointing out that unless the companies can make a profit, there will be no reason for them to explore or drill.

Ancient Leviathan Fossils Found in Arava Valley

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The land that runs along the edge of the southern end of the Dead Sea, near a certain section close to Masada, is soft and white. Although there are steep mounds of chalky white deposits that seem to stand guard along a path that moves inward towards the cliffs that rim the sea, they too are brittle, delicate and soft. They crumble at a touch.

One can climb those mounds, reach the top and then slide down just for fun. Desert tour guides sometimes take their private clients there to do just that – especially if there are children along for the tour.

The entire area, you see, was actually an ancient seabed. So it should come as no surprise that the remains of what may have been the Leviathan were found in southern Israel, researchers announced Tuesday.

Thirty fossilized remnants of the Elasmosaurus, described by Dr. Sarit Ashckenazi-Polivoda in an interview with The Jerusalem Post as the “cousin of dinosaurs” were found in the Arava Valley between 2012 and 2014.

During the period from which the fragments came – some 85 million years ago – the area was covered in ocean water 200 meters deep, the researcher said. “All of Israel was under water until 20-30 million years ago,” she told the Post. “The sea had a lot of algae and plankton that bloomed then, that attracted a lot of fish that fed on the algae, which the reptile ate.”

No one knows how or why the creatures from that period became extinct, but they disappeared about 66 million years ago, she said. Global changes such as volcanic eruptions that warmed and cooled the environment and caused changes in the ocean, as to the fish and algae, certainly could have contributed.

A dinosaur footprint was also found in Jerusalem in the 1980s, she said, and a 75 million-year-old reptile skeleton was found in the Negev in 2005.

The Elasmosaurus remains are currently on display at Hebrew University.

Will Israel Destroy Its Own Energy Independence, Break Deal with Delek, Noble Energy?

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

The Israeli government’s anti-trust authority is challenging the investors over the group’s monopoly in the field of natural gas development.

U.S.-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek group formed the partnership that discovered, explored and began drilling in the mammoth Leviathan gas field and the smaller Tamar field, both in coastal Mediterranean waters.

An original three-year agreement with Israel’s government was to allow the group to maintain control of the gas fields. They were to sell two smaller gas deposits in order to create competition in the local market.

David Gilo, who heads Israel’s Anti-Trust Authority, said on Tuesday however that he is considering backing away from the agreement.

Instead, Gilo said he may advise the government to break up the partnership in order to avoid a monopoly in the market. In response, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Tuesday morning suspending trading in shares of energy companies, including Delek.

Noble is threatening litigation, adding that it will “take all action necessary to protect its legal and legitimate rights.” Prospecting by other companies for offshore gas in the country has also halted out of concern over regulatory risk.

National elections that are now facing the country and the dog fighting involved has not done anything to help the situation either.

The Jewish State finds itself in the peculiar situation in which it clearly has the resources to finally become energy independence — yet appears to be on the bring of shooting itself in the foot well before it has the chance to liberate itself from its slavery to others.

Israel is Energy Exporter in $15b Gas Deal to Jordan

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Israel became an energy producer for the first time today with the closure of a deal to export natural gas to Jordan from the mammoth Leviathan gas field.

Leviathan will become Jordan’s main supplier of natural gas in the coming years. Months of discussions in the Israeli government eventually ended earlier in the year with a decision that the country would be allowed to export 40 percent of its offshore natural gas reserves.

Noble Energy Inc., Delek Group Ltd, Avner Oil and Gas LP and Delek Drilling Limited Partnership and Ratio Oil Exploration were expected to sign a $15b Memorandum of Understanding today (Sept. 3, 2014) to export natural gas for the next 15 years to Jordan.

Israeli Minister of Natural Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom, and the U.S. State Department were both involved in the deal.

The Leviathan gas field is a large natural gas field located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea off Israel’s coastline, about 47 kilometers (29 miles) southwest of the Tamar gas field. It is located approximately 130 kilometers (81 miles) west of Haifa, in waters about 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) deep.

Tanin and Karish Gas Fields Declared “Proven Discoveries”

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Israel’s Energy Petroleum Commissioner declared that offshore Tanin and Karish gas fields are proven discoveries, according to a Globes report.

This declaration was needed in order that Noble Energy and Delek be able to sell their holding in the fields to a third party. Selling the fields helps the two companies avoid being declared a cartel by Israel’s Antitrust Authority.

Noble Energy and Delek are partners int eh Leviathan field.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tanin-and-karish-gas-fields-declared-proven-discoveries/2014/08/13/

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