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!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • 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.