After the Leviathan gas reservoir partners signed a massive deal with Jordan, Israel is now looking to lay a pipeline to Cyprus and Greece, so Israeli gas can be exported there and to other European countries, National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz said Tuesday.
Steinitz, speaking to reporters before the weekly cabinet meeting that was pushed from Sunday to Tuesday because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in the US, related to Monday’s announcement of a massive gas deal with Jordan, saying it was an “historic” day for the country, because for the first time in its history it became an energy exporter.
Steinitz said that he was going to Athens on Wednesday to meet with his counterparts in Greece and Cyprus to discuss the laying of a “long” pipeline to Cyprus and then to Greece, and from there further inland to other parts of Europe.
“We will export gas to other countries in the region, and also to Europe,” Steinitz said. “That will turn us into a world energy player and enable us to discover and develop additional large gas fields.”
Steinitz’s visit to Greece and Cyprus comes just a month after a Greek hydrocarbon exploration and production, Energean Oil & Gas, announced its intentions to enter Israeli waters. Although still pending Israeli government approval, Athens-based Energean Oil & Gas signed a $148.5 million deal in mid-August to purchase the Karish and Tanin gas reservoirs from two Delek Group subsidiaries.
As far as Monday’s deal with Jordan is concerned, the Leviathan basin partners will be supplying Jordan's National Electric Power Company Ltd. (NEPCO) with a gross quantity of 45 billion cubic meters of gas, or 8.5 million cubic meters daily, over a 15-year period. Houston-based Noble Energy – which holds the largest share in the 621-BCM reservoir – announced the execution of the gas sales and purchase agreement on Monday afternoon.
Gas supplied through the $10 billion contract will involve industry-typical "take-or-pay" commitments, with pricing linked to Brent oil and a firm floor price, a statement from Noble Energy said.
The buyer also has the option to purchase an incremental 1.4 MCM per day for a total of up to 9.9-MCM per day, the statement added.
The initial field development will involve a subsea connection to a shallow-water platform. with a pipeline leading to Jordan. Leviathan’s stakeholders said they aim to complete construction, and begin delivering gas to Jordan, in as little as three years.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu termed the accord a “very important agreement” that both significantly promotes the Israeli energy market and “strengthens ties with Jordan.”
He said that Israel is now reaping geo-political, economic and social benefits from extracting the gas from the ground.