Map of Leviathan gas field.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Delek Drilling and Avner Oil and Gas Exploration announced Wednesday that the consortium developing the Leviathan off-shore natural gas reservoir had approved the agreement for an eventual detailed engineering plan.
Lauded as a “significant milestone,” the $120 million plan will lay out the detailed structural design for the production platform as well as its operation. The platform, which will include a 90-meter-deep underwater support platform, will treat and deliver natural gas from the offshore reservoir. From the platform, its two pipelines will connect to on-land sites for domestic natural gas use, one near Emek Hefer and the other near Yokneam.
A spokeswoman for the consortium said a decision on which firm will carry out the engineering plans will be likely be made in the coming days.
In a statement, the consortium estimated that the planning stage for the platform will take “700,000 working hours,” (a combined 79 years worth of simultaneous work) for the approximately 70 workers.
The platform is the first step in the first stage of a two-phase construction plan. The first phase will see the construction of four drilling sites, connected to the production platform, producing a total of 12 BCM of natural gas annually. The second phase will add four additional drilling sites that will raise the annual production capacity to 21 BCM per year..
Estimates on the reservoir’s total capacity were disputed in recent weeks, with figures ranging between 500 billion cubic meters and the initial 621 BCM.
Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu said the platform will “more than satisfy the demand for gas supply in the domestic market, as well as export to other countries in the region.” He added that while engineering work happens, the consortium will also publicize tenders for Leviathans equipment and services “in order to finalize investment by the end of this year.”
Several members of the consortium have said over the past few months that if plans are approved by the end of 2016, Leviathan will likely begin supplying customers with natural gas by the end of 2019.
Delek Group subsidiaries Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration each own a 22.67 percent stake in Leviathan. Houston, Texas-based Noble Energy owns a 39.66% stake while 15% of the reservoir is owned by Ratio Oil Exploration.