Noble still negotiating with Israeli on gas field developments

Houston independent Noble Energy Inc. reiterated Sept. 3 that it is still in negotiations with the Israeli government regarding the development of Tamar and Leviathan natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean (OGJ Online, Jan. 19, 2009; Dec. 29, 2010).

Analysts said Noble’s statement was in response to concerns about the recent announcement by Italy’s Eni SPA that it made a “supergiant gas discovery” with its Zohr gas prospect drilled offshore Egypt (OGJ Online, Aug. 31, 2015). Eni believes Zohr could hold 30 tcf of lean gas in place in an area covering 100 sq km.

Noble said it “continues to work diligently with the government of Israel to address matters necessary to facilitate the development of its world-class discoveries at Tamar and Leviathan and ensure a stable investment climate.”

Specifically, Noble restated that a regulatory framework for development was approved by the Israeli government and was presented to the Knesset. Also, Noble said the Egyptian government reiterated its support for gas imports from Israel for both domestic and LNG export purposes.

Tamar, discovered in early 2009, was the largest conventional gas discovery in the world during that year, the company said. Appraisal work, including drilling and core sample analysis, has determined gross mean resources of 10 tcf of gas, Noble said. Tamar production began in March 2013.

Leviathan, discovered in late 2010, was the largest exploration discovery in Noble’s history, the company said. With 19 tcf of gross gas mean resources, Leviathan is being evaluated by Noble and its partners for various monetization options including various LNG and pipeline export projects.

“We believe the large regional demand—including in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey—is such that no single one of the region’s discoveries can fill it,” Noble said, adding, “And there is a significant export market to Europe as well.”

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