Leviathan receives approval to complete start up operations next week

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has given the go ahead for operations to proceed after emissions from the platform were lower than forecast.

The Leviathan gas platform, 10km. offshore Israel (photo credit: ALBATROSS)
The Leviathan gas platform, 10km. offshore Israel
(photo credit: ALBATROSS)
Leviathan gas platform operator Noble Energy received government approval on Thursday to commence full operations at the offshore energy project next week.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection approved the procedure, scheduled to take place on Monday morning, which will see gas flow for the first time from the Leviathan reservoir's two remaining wells through 120-kilometer-long pipes to the reservoir platform, 10 km. off Israel’s shore.
Gas was transferred from the reservoir’s first two wells to the Leviathan gas platform on Tuesday. Approval for the next stage of the procedure was granted after benzene and carbon emissions from the platform during the first stage were lower than initially forecast, the ministry said.
“Yesterday and today, the Environmental Protection Ministry received complaints from residents regarding the fear of irregular emissions from the platform,” the ministry said in a statement.
“[Noble Energy]’s reports were reviewed by the ministry. The ministry emphasizes that it examined the data from monitoring stations in residential areas facing the platform, and there was no recorded increase at all in levels of benzene beyond routine amounts.”
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 (bcm) of natural gas, equivalent to 65 years of domestic gas consumption. Lucrative export deals will also see gas exported from the Leviathan and Tamar gas fields to neighbors Jordan and Egypt.
The Energy Ministry approved the flow of gas from the Leviathan reservoir on December 19. Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz hailed the transformation of the State of Israel into “a gas superpower.”