Energy Ministry Presents Plan For Two Newest Israeli Natural Gas Fields

An employee walks on the Expedient regasification ship, anchored off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea on February 26, 2015, as natural gas began flowing from the vessel, hired by the Israel Electric Corporation, to its power stations.
MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty
DEBORAH DANAN

TEL AVIV – The Israeli Energy Ministry officially presented its development plan Tuesday for the Karish and Tanin undersea natural gas fields, the same day that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signed legislation that could pave the way for his country to become a major consumer of Israel’s natural gas.

According to Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, the development plan “shows [Israel’s ability] to keep to the schedule” of development.” The new fields, which are located alongside the larger Tamar and Leviathan gas fields, will mean “competition will increase and prices … will fall,” he said in a statement.

Altogether, the Tamar, Leviathan, Karish and Tanin fields would bring in NIS 350 billion ($92 billion), “more than all the U.S. aid granted over the years to Israel,” Steinitz said.

By 2020 some 55 billion cubic meters from Karish and Tanin are slated to begin flowing into Israel’s gas conduits.

A floating production storage and offloading vessel located 90 kilometers (56 miles) offshore to process the gas is also included in the development plan.

A pipeline from the platform stretching 80 kilometers (49 miles) will transport the gas to Israel’s shores.

In December, a deal was inked to sell the two fields to Greek firm Energean.

Also on Tuesday, Egyptian President Sisi signed a bill that moves toward establishing a new regulatory body that would allow private sector companies to begin importing gas.

Although there have been many deals signed in the past, the implementation stage failed mainly due to regulatory red tape. The new Egyptian legislation, which will go into effect later in the year, should ease the way for such deals to go through in the future. At least five companies have expressed interest in importing gas, Egyptian media reports said.

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