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Israel begins natural gas production from deepwater Tamar field in Eastern Mediterranean

Map showing the location of Tamar, as well as the larger Leviathan field which is entering development. Source: Noble Energy. Click to enlarge.

On Saturday, Israel’s Ministry of Energy & Water Resources reported that commercial natural gas production had begun from the deepwater Tamar field (c. 5,500 ft, 1,676 m) in the Eastern Mediterranean, 90 km (56 miles) west of Haifa. (Earlier post.)

Representing a $3.25-billion gross investment, according to operator Noble Energy (36% working interest), Tamar is entering operation 2.5 years from the sanction of the project, and four years after the discovery of the field. It uses the world’s longest subsea tieback—a 16-inch (41-cm), 93-mile (150 km) pipeline. The Tamar production platform is about 290 meters (951 ft) high and weighs (along with its subsea legs) about 34,000 tons.

Significant capacity expansion is targeted for Tamar for 2015. Phase 1 onshore capacity is 985 MMcf/day; future expansion phases are to increase the capacity to 1.5 Bcf/d. The partners are also evaluating a Tamar Floating LNG project.

The reserves of Tamar (and Dalit, also discovered in 2009), are estimated today to contain more than 9 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas, a quantity sufficient to meet Israel’s natural gas needs for more than 20 years. Tamar was the world’s largest natural gas discovery in 2009, notes Delek Energy, one of the Tamar partners.

The Tamar and Dalit discoveries were followed in 2010 by the discovery of Leviathan, 29 miles (47 km) west of Tamar at a depth of c. 5,000 meters. Leviathan’s resource is estimated at 17 Tcf gross, 6 Tcf net. Both Tamar and Leviathan are the largest deepwater gas discoveries in the world in the past decade.

Appraisal wells are currently being drilled in Leviathan, with initial production to supply Israel’s domestic market targeted for 2016.

Phase 1 of Leviathan development will include pre-investment in upstream facilities for an LNG export project: a 1.6 Bcf/d facility, with 750 MMcf/d for domestic, 850 MMcf/d for export. The partners are considering multiple downstream export options for the 2018-2020 time frame, including floating LNG (FLNG) and pipeline export.

Phase 2 includes a second deepwater hub supplying additional domestic and export markets.

Demand for natural gas in Israel is expected to grow strongly, notes Noble Energy, with a short-term CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 15% from 2012 – 2017. There is strong electricity and increasing industrial demand, as well as the potential for converting coal-fired electricity generation.

Israel natural gas demand forecast 2011-2040. Source: Delek Energy, Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. Click to enlarge.



Tamar and Dalat alone would have changed the strength of Israel's economy for the better. When Leviathan comes on line it will complete the transformation of Israel, and when you combine this with the water from the Ashdod and Soreq desalination plants?
Israel is going to bloom in a way that the region has never seen before in modern times.
I saw recently that Lebanon has started to contract with outside drilling companies to explore for gas fields in their territorial waters. The problem is that even if they find gas, the wealth probably won't work its way down to the Lebanese people.


Israel should convert vehicles to CNG before worrying about electric generation.  Eliminate the biggest vulnerability first.


Just a matter of time until Hezbullah trains/pays/recruits divers to dive down to the pipeline and blow it up.


Israel is an ideal country for EVs; the country measures about the size of New Jersey and is about 70 miles across. Round trips could easily be handled by a quick charger network between major cities. In effect it is an island surrounded by Arabian sand where the people have little need to venture out of the country. Additionally, the sun is their greatest ally for electric energy production.

They have longed to drop their need for foreign fuels. With this discovery, perhaps they can.


NG + Solar could give Israel all the energy required for a very long time.

It may be possible to transform NG to electricity, very near the NG source, and use buried undersea cable to transport electricity to the on-land network?

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