Gas production was temporarily halted on the offshore Leviathan natural gas platform on Saturday evening following an "operational event," said operator Noble Energy.
The platform's flare system was activated to remove all natural gas from the platform in a safe manner, according to the company."Noble Energy has updated the relevant officials and is working to renew the supply of gas as quickly as possible," said a representative for the company. "It is noted that no environmental impact to the shore is expected."
זו לא השמש שזורחת בלילה. אלו להבות ענק מאסדת לוויתן שנראות למרחקים.— שומרי הבית (@homelandguards) May 23, 2020
אנחנו מקבלים מאות תמונות מכל רחבי הארץ.
נראה שהאסון מתקרב בצעדי ענק.
דורשים להפסיק מיד את הפקרת אזרחי ישראל עבור רווחים של טייקונים שמייצאים את הגז שלנו לירדן ולמצרים.
הגיע הזמן לעצור את הפרוייקט המסוכן הזה.
Initial investigations found that the incident was caused by an error in the gas detectors on the platform, causing the alert to be activated due to concerns of a leak. The alert was a false alarm.A representative for Noble Energy said on Sunday morning that the platform had returned to regular operations and gas production.
"All security systems on the platform are working correctly and natural gas production from Leviathan is expected to renew in the coming hours," said the company in a statement on Saturday night.
"This is the 23rd error on the Leviathan platform in its four months of operation, as the high-pressure torch triggered tonight is routinely prohibited by the Leviathan's exhaust permit," said Yoni Sapir, chairman of the Homeland Guards association.
Sapir added that Noble Energy and the Ministry for Environmental Protection both refused to provide information on the errors to the association. Residents in the area reported burning, severe odors and headaches, according to Sapir.
The Ministry for Environmental Protection reported earlier on Saturday night that no abnormal results were found in air quality tests in the area, adding that the ministry was checking to see if the platform had followed the relevant laws and permits.
Despite opposition from residents of the North and environmental campaigners, the offshore platform commenced full operations on January 6, supplying natural gas to the Israeli market, and to neighbors Egypt and Jordan under two lucrative, long-term deals.
The Leviathan reservoir, one of the largest natural gas fields discovered worldwide in the last decade, is thought to contain up to 605 billion cubic meters of natural gas, equivalent to 65 years of domestic gas consumption.Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.