leviathan gas drill.
(photo credit: (Albatross))
An offshore natural gas reserve contains some 16 trillion cubic feet of gas
worth an estimated $45 billion, an energy corporation which owns a share of the
project said on Wednesday.
Noble Energy Inc., which owns 39.66% of the
prospect, said the massive store of natural gas in the “Leviathan” reserve – the
largest of its kind discovered in the world in the last decade – “has the
potential to position Israel as a naturalgas- exporting nation.”
Small investors campaign against higher taxes on gas finds
Leviathan drilling indicates natural gas
nearly a year now, we have had a team evaluating market possibilities, which
include various pipeline and LNG (liquefied natural gas) options. It’s our
belief that the natural gas resources at Leviathan are sufficient to support one
or more of the options being studied,” Noble Energy president and chief
operating officer David L. Stover said on Wednesday.
Partners in the
Leviathan project include Israeli firms Delek Group Ltd., Delek Drilling LP,
Avner Oil and Gas LP, and Ratio Oil Exploration.
Leviathan is located in
1,650 feet of water about 129 km. northwest of the coast of
The site is about 47 km. southwest of the “Tamar” drill site,
estimated to be worth $15b.
Wednesday’s results came from electrical log
tests and a very closely matched estimate given on June 2 of this year based on
a 3D seismic survey.s Meanwhile, the gross domestic product has increased by 4.5
percent from a year ago, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced at a
Jerusalem press conference Wednesday. Israel’s economy expanded faster than
previously estimated this year as exports, home construction and consumer
spending helped fuel growth.
“The recovery is continuing in 2010,” said
Soli Peleg, head of the CBS’s macroeconomic division. “Our situation is good,
and we are better off than many countries in the OECD.”
Channel 10 on Wednesday, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz called the Leviathan
findings “an impressive discovery” and vowed that the State of Israel would
place reasonable taxes on the natural gas earnings in keeping with the standards
of OECD countries.
In April, Steinitz appointed Hebrew University
professor Eitan Sheshinsky to head a committee to examine Israel’s royalty
policies on energy – which today stand at 12.5%, very low by international
The issue of raising the royalty percentage has ignited a
serious debate in Israel, pitting some of Israel’s wealthiest businessmen
against those, largely on the Left, who hope to garner a larger share of the
earnings for the State of Israel.
Sheshinsky’s committee has called for
raising the royalties to 66%, but gas and oil investors say such royalties make
energy exploration unprofitable.
National Infrastructures Minister Uzi
Landau (Likud) on Wednesday called the discovery “the most important
energy news since the founding of the state” and added that the greatest
earnings for the discovery would be felt by the citizens of
CEO Yigal Landau called Wednesday “a festive day for the people of
warned that “today, gas and oil exploration in Israel is under attack
populist forces” looking to fill the state coffers with the Leviathan
Landau added that the company would continue to search south of
the Leviathan site for sources of energy from which, he stated,
state and the public will be able to benefit under agreed and suitable
MK Dov Henin (Hadash), one of a number of politicians pushing for
a higher public share in the gas earnings, said that “the Leviathan
tycoons and investors unprecedented profits. This is the time to end the
argument and approve sharp increases in the percentage of natural gas
that will be earned by the state.”
Bloomberg contributed to this