As previously announced, first gas sales from the Leviathan field started on December 31, 2019, following a short delay.
The delay came after the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy said earlier in December 2019 there would be a delay to the expected start-up date “because Noble Energy had been required to give the public notice (on its website) at least two working days prior to the start of the production, but failed to do so with enough notice…”
In an update on Wednesday, January 15 Noble said that all four wells and both subsea flowlines were fully operational, with well productivities in line with or better than pre-production expectations.
According to Noble’s update, natural gas sales have been established to Israel, Jordan, and Egypt.
Gas sales to Jordan began on January 1 and gas exports to Egypt on January 15. Gas sales into Egypt are utilizing the EMG Pipeline.
Interconnects between the Israeli, Jordanian and Egyptian pipeline networks are now fully operational, Noble said.
Combined gross natural gas sales from the Leviathan and Tamar fields to date have averaged 1.5 billion cubic feet equivalent per day (Bcfe/d) in January, with peak days up to 1.7 Bcfe/d, Noble stated.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, Egypt and Israel’s energy ministers confirmed the first transmission of natural gas from Israel to Egypt.
“This is an important development that will serve the economic interests of both countries. This development will enable Israel to export some of its natural gas to Europe via Egyptian LNG facilities, and will come in the context of Egypt’s growing role as a regional gas HUB,” they said.
J. Keith Elliott, Noble Energy’s Senior Vice President, Offshore, stated, “The successful startup of the Leviathan project reflects the tremendous efforts of our employees, partners, and suppliers. I’ve been very pleased with the startup and early performance which has provided confidence in meeting our 2020 sales outlook.”
Elliott added: “Leviathan natural gas provides redundancy in supply domestically and enables Israel to further transition from coal, improving air quality for Israel’s citizens. Additionally, the asset supports regional economic cooperation and development through its exports to both regional and global customers.”
The Leviathan project is the largest energy project in Israel’s history. The project is being developed via an offshore platform from which treated gas and stabilized condensate will flow through a northern entry pipeline connected to the INGL (Israel Natural Gas Lines) national gas transmission system.
According to Noble Energy, the Leviathan gas will make it possible for the Israeli energy sector to be based almost exclusively on electricity generated by natural gas. Also, it will make Israel an energy exporter.
The Leviathan field is estimated to hold 33 Tcf of natural gas resources in place (22 Tcf recoverable). It was discovered in December 2010, 125 kilometers west of Haifa. It will have a total production capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (Bcf/d).