Natural Gas Starts Flowing From New Israel Tamar Field off Mediterranean Coast

May Reduce Power Costs, Lead to Energy Independence

getty images

By Reuters

Published March 31, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Natural gas from the Tamar field off Israel’s Mediterranean shores began flowing on Saturday, the partners in the field said.

Israel, once energy poor, is expected to become a gas exporter by the end of the decade, with the Tamar field holding enough reserves to meet the country’s gas needs for decades.

The discovery in 2009 led to an exploration frenzy in the Levant Basin - shared between Israel, Cyprus and Lebanon - and the uncovering of a second bigger find, Leviathan, which prompted Israel to set up a natural gas wealth fund.

“Today (we begin) independence in Israeli natural gas. It is an enormous achievement for the Israeli economy and the start of a new era,” said Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, the controlling shareholder in Delek Group, one of the partners in Tamar.

The gas should lead to a reduction in production costs for state utility Israel Electric Corp as well as a decline in the price of electricity, the Israeli Water and Energy Ministry said last week.

A statement from the production partners who said they had invested $3 billion in developing Tamar, estimated the new gas supplies would save Israel’s economy, which relies heavily on oil imports, 13 billion shekels ($3.6 billion) per year.

Texas-based Noble Energy holds 36 percent of Tamar. Isramco Negev owns 28.75 percent and Delek Group subsidiaries Avner Oil Exploration and Delek Drilling hold 15.625 percent each. Dor Gas Exploration has a 4 percent stake.

Noble Energy Chairman and CEO, Charles Davidson, said bringing Tamar to production in four years was a “transformational achievement” and that the field’s partners would now work to invest in increasing piping capacity.

“Building on this success, we will work with our partners and the government to sanction the next phase of development at Tamar and the domestic phase of Leviathan,” Davidson said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netantyahu highlighted the achievement in a statement issued by his office.

“We are taking an important step towards independence in the energy sector. In the past decade we have promoted Israel’s gas sector and this will enhance Israel’s economy and benefit all the country’s citizens,” he said.

Tamar is located 90 kilometres off Israel’s northern coast and has an estimated 10 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Development of Tamar and Leviathan will make Israel less dependent on energy imports but the country has said it will also allow a significant amount of its natural gas to be exported.

Tamar has already signed a number of large deals, including one to supply as much as $23 billion of natural gas to Israel Electric Corp and $4 billion worth to units of conglomerate Israel Corp.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.