Share value for giant Israeli gas field revised higher

Sept. 27 (UPI) — The value present in the Leviathan gas field off the coast of Israel was revised higher for one of the drilling partners, an independent review found.

Delek Drilling, an Israeli company, estimates Leviathan holds about 21.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, an estimate that’s about 13 percent higher than when the field was discovered in 2010. Consultant group Netherland Sewall & Associates said it estimated that, at 45.3 percent, Delek’s share represented about $2.9 billion, an increase of about 11 percent.

“The growth in the value of the reservoir is a result, among others, of the fact that the date of production from the reservoir is getting closer and the fact that during 2017, the Leviathan partners invested around $500 million in the reservoir, out of the total investment required until commencement of production at the end of 2019,” the consultant group said in a report emailed to UPI.

Delek Group, alongside its partners at Avner Oil Exploration Ltd., sanctioned the giant Leviathan gas field in February and secured a loan agreement with dozens of banks, led by J.P. Morgan and HSBC, for about $1.75 billion to finance the project.

A good portion of the gas reserves in Leviathan are designated for exports. A Jordanian power company agreed last year to a take-or-pay scheme for gas from Leviathan. That agreement was worth an estimated $10 billion and was the first such agreement for the field.

In early December, the Leviathan partners said they reached an agreement with Dalia, the largest private power plant in Israel, to supply fuel for up to 20 years once production at the field begins.

“The Leviathan partners have been acting decisively with the aim of supplying gas to the domestic market and for export from the second half of 2019,” Delek CEO Yossi Abu said.

The Israeli government gave its consent last year to revised operational plans after a previous arrangement was struck down by the Israeli Supreme Court. The partners were notified in early 2016 by the court that a deal with the government was unconstitutional, a ruling consistent with past concerns about competition.

Delek, a partner at the Tamar natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, said a crack on an emergency emissions pipeline was discovered during regular maintenance that led to a halt in production last week. The company said it expects the down time to result in a loss of about $3.5 million in revenue for the sale of natural gas. The cost of the repair, however, should be minimal.

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