Charles Davidson, chairman and CEO of Houston-based Noble Energy, operator of the exploration license for natural gas and oil in Block 12 south east of the Cyprus coast, will visit Israel this week to mark the start of gas flow from the Tamar field.
The visit is reportedly also intended to help persuade the Israeli government to allow gas exports that would open the way to pipe natural gas to the Vassiliko terminal for liquefaction and export.
The Tzemach Committee, chaired by Ministry of Energy and Water Resources director general Shaul Tzemach, advises allowing the export of up to 50% of each gas field's reserves. "Globes" reported that the partners in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government promised in the coalition agreements to support "government decisions on energy supplies" and "decisions and bills that the prime minister will submit to regulate the gas and energy industry."
Environmental, energy, and cost of living organizations, including the Israel Energy Forum and Israel Yakar Lanu (Israel is Dear to Us), oppose plans to export natural gas. The Israel Union for Environmental Defense called on MPs to oppose gas exports, on the grounds that the Tzemach Committee relied on overly optimistic forecasts and speculative conclusions about the country's gas reserves. In a document sent to Knesset members, the NPO said that there was no basis for the claims by energy exploration companies that there is no economic justification to develop the Leviathan field without exports.
Noble Energy announced that the Tamar natural gas field offshore Israel has been successfully brought online with all five of the subsea wells now producing at stable rates totalling 300 mln cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). When combined with existing Mari-B volumes, the total current sales are nearly 500 MMcf/d and are expected to average 700 MMcf/d through the remainder of the year. Initial sales commenced on March 31 as natural gas flowed from the field to the Tamar platform and then to the Ashdod Onshore Terminal.
The development is designed to deliver natural gas rates up to 1 bln cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). Volumes will likely reach this maximum capacity during the peak summer demand in the third quarter this year.
"In just over four years from discovery, the Tamar project is fully operational and delivering significant volumes of natural gas to Israel."
The gross resource estimate of Tamar has been increased to 10 tcf, up from 9 tcf, as a result of development drilling and continued reservoir analysis and modeling.
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