Leviathan gas field
|This article is outdated. (August 2011)|
|Leviathan gas field|
|Region||Eastern Mediterranean Sea|
|Partners||Avner Oil and Gas (22.67%)
Delek Drilling (22.67%)
Ratio Oil Exploration (15%)
Noble Energy (39.66%)
|Start of production||2015-2017 (expected)|
|Estimated gas in place||535×109 m3 (18.9×1012 cu ft)|
|Producing formations||Tamar sands|
The Leviathan gas field is a large natural gas field located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel, 47 kilometres (29 mi) south-west of the Tamar gas field. The gas field is located roughly 130 kilometres (81 mi) west of Haifa in waters 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) deep in the Levantine basin, a rich hydrocarbon area in one of the world's larger offshore gas finds of the past decade. The gas find has the potential to change Israel's foreign relations towards a closer collaboration with Turkey and Egypt. Together with the nearby Tamar gas field, it has been seen as an opportunity to Israel to become a major energy power in the Middle East.
The first well, Leviathan 1, was first drilled to a depth of 5,170 metres (16,960 ft) where the deposit found was estimated to contain 16 trillion cubic feet (450 billion cubic metres) of natural gas. The well was drilled by Homer Ferrington drilling rig. The second stage of drilling of the Leviathan 1 well was intended to reach a depth of 7,200 metres (23,600 ft) where the estimated natural gas reserve is an additional 9 trillion cubic feet (250 billion cubic metres) and potentially 600 million barrels of oil. While the gas discovery at -5170m was made in the Tamar sands layer which was already known to contain gas in other geological formations of the same type in the region, the additional oil and gas potential exists in a deeper layer which dates back to the Mesozoic era and which to date has not been explored in the Levant basin. Noble has twice failed to reach the deeper layer due to technical challenges with drilling to the extreme depths involved. However, during drilling towards the intended target some tell-tale gas signs of possible thermogenic origin were detected and therefore Noble intends to return to the drill site after it obtains the necessary equipment to handle the extreme pressures it previously encountered. A specialized ship under construction in South Korea will begin carrying out the oil exploration effort at Leviathan by the end of 2013. While the probability of finding oil or gas in this unexplored layer is thought to be very small, were they to be found, it would also greatly increase the probability of finding additional hydrocarbon resources in similar ultra-deep geological formations located elsewhere in the region.
At the time of discovery, the Leviathan gas field was the largest find ever discovered in the under-explored area of the Mediterranean Sea and the largest discovery in the history of Noble Energy. Noble Energy operates Leviathan with a 39.66% working interest; Delek Drilling holds 22.67%; Avner Oil Exploration holds 22.67%; and Ratio Oil Exploration holds the remaining 15%. In February 2014, Woodside Energy agreed to buy a 25% stake of the Leviathan field for up to US$2.55 billion.
Lebanon initially argued that the field extends into Lebanese waters. Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri stated that Israel is “ignoring the fact that according to the maps the deposit extends into Lebanese waters,” Agence France-Presse reported on June 9. Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures Uzi Landau responded “We will not hesitate to use our force and strength to protect not only the rule of law but the international maritime law,” in an interview. Robbie Sable, a professor of international law at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, has stated that the claim may be complex due to Lebanon's border with Israel being indented, making it harder to establish where Israel’s sea boundary ends and Lebanese waters begin.
In August 2010, Lebanon submitted to the United Nations its official view regarding the maritime border, indicating that it considered the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields to be outside Lebanese territory (though it indicated other prospective fields in the region may be within Lebanese territory). The US expressed support for the Lebanon proposal.
- Energy Triangle
- Economy of Israel
- Sarah and Myra - two Israeli offshore drilling licences
- Block 12
- Tamar gas field
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