Jan 2 2011
The largest reserve of natural gas, over 16 trillion cubic feet, discovered off the coast of Israel, is estimated to be worth more than $95 billion, and could sustain Israel’s energy needs for decades.
Last year, Israeli company Isramco announced that reserves of natural gas have been discovered at its Tamar 1 offshore drill site 90 kilometers west of Haifa, making it the largest ever discovered in Israel until now – three times bigger than that of the “Yam Thetis” consortium and worth $15 billion.
FORBES — All big oil and gas fields have geopolitical significance, but we haven’t seen a big oil find in recent years that could matter more than the Leviathan field in the Mediterranean Sea off of Israel.
This is hugely important for Israel, which doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye with its oil-rich Arab neighbors. Israel is almost completely reliant on imported oil, producing less than 4,000 barrels per day of its 250,000 bpd demand. If Leviathan pans out, it could have enough oil to satisfy Israel for more than two decades.
We already knew Leviathan was big. In June, Noble (which owns roughly 40% of the find) and Delek (roughly 50% through two subsidiaries)announced that the field is thought to hold upwards of 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This was on top of another 8 tcf in the nearby Tamar discovery. All this gas means Israel will be able to meet its own gas needs for 50 years or more.
Noble Energy president and COO David L. Stover said, “This discovery has the potential to position Israel as a natural gas exporting nation. For nearly a year now, we have had a team evaluating market possibilities, which includes various pipeline and LNG options. It’s our belief that the natural gas resources at Leviathan are sufficient to support one or more of the options being studied. We are excited to be leading the exploration and development in this new basin and look forward to determining the best development option.”