The partnership behind the Leviathan field off Israel has submitted a US$6.5 billion initial development plan to the country’s Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, Reuters has reported.
Located around 130km from Israel’s coast in around 1600m of water, the Leviathan field is one of the largest offshore discoveries in the past decade, and represents Houston-based operator Noble Energy’s largest discovery to date. In July, Netherland Sewall & Associates bumped the high reserves’ estimate up to just under 22Tcf of natural gas from almost 19Tcf.
A source speaking to Reuters says the production rate for the giant field is estimated at 16Bcm annually. The news service also said that the first stage of the field will include an FPSO unit with a production capacity of 16Bcm of gas annually.
Earlier this month, Noble Energy announced a preliminary deal to supply natural gas to Jordan’s National Electric Power Company. In June, the Leviathan consortium signed a preliminary deal with BG Group to export up to 3.75Tcf of natural gas over a 15-year period to the UK major’s LNG plant in Idku, Egpyt.
The field’s consortium made headlines earlier this year when Australian explorer Woodside Petroleum withdrew from a non-binding agreement to purchase 30% of the field.
The company has a reputation for kick-starting its assets into production rather quickly - the neighboring Mari-B field went from a discovery in March 2000 to a producer in late December 2014. Leviathan is expected to enter production in 2018, nine years after discovery, and one year after its original expected production date.
Noble Energy operates Leviathan (39.66%). Its partners in consortium are Delek Drilling (22.67%), Avner Oil Exploration with 22.67%, and Ratio Oil Exploration (15%).
The spokesperson of the Israel Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources was not available at the time of this writing.