Tamar Gas Field: located 90 kilometers west of the city of Haifa, northern Israel.
Photo Credit: Associated Press; Albatross Aerial Perspective
An article, by Shoshanna Solomon and Gwen Ackerman, in BusinessWeek says that Israel has started production of its Tamar gas field, located offshore in the Mediterranean Sea, which holds an estimated nine trillion cubic feet of natural gas, sufficient to supply Israel's domestic needs for decades. As the article states, "The gas was expected to reach Israel’s port city of Ashdod by afternoon today," the Energy and Water Ministry said.
This is the first of three large gas fields expected to come online in the next few years:
The field in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, estimated to hold 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, is being developed by a group that includes Noble Energy Inc. (NBL), Delek Drilling-LP, Avner Oil Exploration LLP (AVNRL) and Isramco Negev 2 LP. (ISRAL) Along with Noble, Israeli energy exploration companies have discovered enough gas under the Mediterranean over the past three years to supply the country for 150 years.
“We are talking about billions of dollars coming to the state from tax revenues from Tamar gas over a 20-year period,” Gilad Alper, a senior analyst at Excellence Nessuah Brokerage Ltd. in Tel Aviv, said in a phone interview. “It will also reduce energy costs as we will replace expensive imports with a cheap domestic supply of natural gas. The start of the flow is a big positive for the economy.”
The Tamar and Dalit fields could supply Israel with gas for two decades. The larger Leviathan field is estimated to hold 18 trillion cubic feet of gas, Noble said in a statement March 6. “This is an important day for the Israeli economy,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today in an e-mailed statement. “We are taking an important step toward energy independence.”
The three fields provide Israel with reserves more than 14 times larger than Germany’s total proven gas reserves, which the BP Statistical Review of World Energy published in June 2012 lists at 2.2 trillion cubic feet. Russia holds the biggest gas reserves, followed by Iran, according to BP Plc. (BP/)For Israel, this also means the opportunity to export its excess capacity, which will likely occur when the larger Leviathan gas field, which has an estimated 16 to 18 trillion cubic feet of gas, is expected to go online in 2016. Of course, Israel has to work out security and economic agreements with both its regional neighbours and keep an eye on Russia, which has a large stake in Europe's gas market. All in all this is good news for Israel.
You can read the rest of the article at [BusinessWeek]