Energean floating gas production rig docks in Israeli waters

The newfound energy source could incentivize competition in the Israeli energy economy, reducing energy prices and energy related services.

Floating gas production rig, Energean Power (photo credit: ENERGEAN)
Floating gas production rig, Energean Power
(photo credit: ENERGEAN)

Energean's floating gas production rig, Energean Power, has arrived in Israel, mooring near the Shark gas reservoir, about 80 km off the coast of Haifa.

Energean, which holds the gas production licenses from the "Shark(Karish)" and "Crocodile(Tanin)" reservoirs, announced the arrival on Saturday.

Energean will immediately begin anchoring and connecting the rig to the gas wells and piping networks and begin the initial run of various systems.

The company estimates that commissioning operations will last about 3-4 months until the first gas flow is achieved, which is expected in the third quarter of 2022.

"I am pleased to confirm that Energean Power, the floating rig of Energean, arrived safely in Israel this morning. This is a very significant milestone for the first gas extraction from the Shark Reservoir, expected in the third quarter of this year," Matthews Riggs, CEO of Energean said.

This is a very significant milestone for the first gas extraction from the Shark Reservoir

CEO of Energean, Matthews Riggs

"Our flagship project will provide energy security to Israel and the region. This milestone joins Energian's recent discoveries in the Olympus region, which will form a significant basis for the company's continued growth and the development of the local and regional energy economy," he added.

The newfound energy source could incentivize competition in the Israeli energy economy, reducing energy prices and energy-related services, as well as ensuring an additional source of gas supply for Israel's energy independence.

Lebanese response

Lebanon, on the other hand, was not thrilled about the new rig mooring in Israel's exclusive economic zone, claiming it is settled in waters disputed between Israel and Lebanon.

President Michel Aoun said any activity in the disputed area would amount to an act of aggression and a provocation, after the arrival of the natural gas storage and production ship operated by London-based Energean.

Israel says the field in question is within its exclusive economic zone, not in disputed waters.

But in a statement, the Lebanese presidency said Aoun discussed with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati the vessel's entry "into the disputed maritime area with Israel, and asked the Army Command to provide him with accurate and official data to build upon the matter."

Aoun said negotiations to delineate the southern maritime border continued and "any action or activity in the disputed area represents a provocation and an aggressive action."

any action or activity in the disputed area represents a provocation and an aggressive action

President Mechel Aoun

Energean's FPSO facility

An FPSO facility is a vessel used by the gas and oil industry, for the production and processing of natural gas from marine reservoirs. Floating rig technology, which is not fixed to the seabed, has a number of significant advantages, thanks to an efficient, economical, greener and safer production capability.

FPSOs are preferred in frontier offshore regions as they are easy to install, and do not require a local pipeline infrastructure to export oil. FPSOs can be a conversion of an oil tanker or can be a vessel built specially for the application, like Energean Power.

Used in offshore production since the 1970s, FPSOs have been historically utilized in the North Sea, offshore Brazil, Asia Pacific, the Mediterranean Sea and offshore West Africa.

Energean Power was towed by two tugs from the shipyard where it was built in Singapore, all the way to Israel. The voyage, which lasted about 8900 km(5532 miles), lasted 35 days during which it passed through 6 seas, and towards the end it crossed the Suez Canal, entering the economic waters of Israel over the weekend. The rig continued its journey until it arrived At 5:00 a.m. to its location near the reservoir in Israeli waters near Haifa.