Israel Looking Forward to Becoming Energy-independent and a Natural Gas Exporter

Thanks to the massive 2.4 trillion cubic feet reserve of natural gas discovered in the Tanin and Karish gas fields, together with the formerly found Leviathan and Tamar reserves, Israel will probably soon become energy-independent for the first time in its history. But the nation that had developed its economy on downstream industries, due to the lack of natural resources and basic materials, is not going to stop there but is planning a push into overseas markets, by exporting natural gas.

The tiny Mediterranean nation got the sale of the Tanin and Karish fields approved to Greek gas search company Energean Oil & Gas PLC in 2016 so as to meet their aim of domestic energy independence. The board of directors of the Greek firm, at last, gave an official green signal recently in March 2018 for a final investment decision (FID) to go ahead with their financing of $1.6 billion into the development of the still-unused Tanin and Karish natural gas fields. Energean publicly announced that they’d already made long-term deals with some of the largest private producers of natural gas in Israel, who, in alliance with some big Israeli companies, have made contracts of 61 billion cubic meters of natural gas over sixteen years.

Energean which lately raised more than $400 million for the task in a recent IPO of shares in London is going to develop a floating production, storage and offloading establishment that will be capable of treating 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually. They also disclosed their plans to create a 90km pipeline to carry the gas from the offshore establishment to the mainland of Israel, enabling connection to the domestic gas network.

Power generation in Israel at the Karish field is scheduled to start in 2019 and Energean has planned that their gas will hit the home market in 2021. Drilling of 6 wells in the Tanin field will be followed then that is to be linked to the floating production and offloading establishment.

The Greek firm is set to bring energy revolution in Israel by competing with the already-formed and much larger fields of Leviathan and Tamar (believed to hold up to 18.9 trillion and 8.4 trillion cubic feet of gas, respectively), being controlled by the shareholders of the U.S. company Noble Energy Inc. as well as units of DelekGroup of Israel.