Photo Credit: Nati Shohat / Flash 90
View of a natural gas drilling rig in the Mediterranean Sea. (illustrative only)

The Leviathan natural gas field is launching its debut into the world of domestic production and foreign export, simultaneously.

The mammoth natural gas field will supply two private companies with its natural resource in a new $1.3 billion contract signed with Edeltech Group (owned by the Edelsburg family) and its Turkish partner, Zorlu Enerji. The partnership purchased six billion cubic meters of gas to be supplied over 18 years.

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The field is being developed and is controlled by Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group. It is believed to contain approximately 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

“We continue to work with all our might to make progress on developing the Leviathan reservoir and to bring the gas to the Israeli economy and its industry,” Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu said. “This deal is a harbinger of things to come, and we intend to further promote sales contracts with customers in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey,” Abu was quoted by Globes as saying.

Two new power stations will be built for the purpose in Israel. The Tamar station will be located in the Negev next to the Haifa Chemicals plant at Mishor Rotem. That project will cost an estimated $250 million. The Soldad Energy plant will be located nex to CHS in Ashdod, for approximately $125 million.

Contracts have already been signed between the two partners to build the Ramat Negev Energy station, Dorad Energy plant in Ashkelon and the Ashdod Energy station.

Despite the recent plummet in oil and gas prices, Noble Energy’s Israel Country Manager Bini Zomer told Globes on Sunday that if enough contracts are signed, “Despite those challenges, Noble believes that the Leviathan project can move forward based on domestic and export opportunities and because of the positive climate created by the Natural Gas Framework.

“With the continued cooperation and mutual commitment of the regulators, the State of Israel and the lease holders, a Final Investment Decision (FID) can be achieved by the end of 2016 with the flow of gas to domestic and regional markets within 3-4 years from FID and as early as the end of 2019 in accordance to what was articulated in the Framework and the Leviathan leases.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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