• 1 hour Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 3 hours New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 4 hours Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 6 hours Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 12 hours Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 17 hours British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 21 hours Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 23 hours Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 24 hours Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 1 day OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 1 day London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 1 day Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 1 day Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 1 day India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 2 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 2 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 2 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 2 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 2 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 3 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 3 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 3 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 3 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 3 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 3 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 3 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 3 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 3 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 4 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 4 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 4 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 4 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 4 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 4 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
  • 7 days Trump Passes Iran Nuclear Deal Back to Congress
  • 7 days Texas Shutters More Coal-Fired Plants
  • 7 days Oil Trading Firm Expects Unprecedented U.S. Crude Exports
  • 7 days UK’s FCA Met With Aramco Prior To Proposing Listing Rule Change
  • 7 days Chevron Quits Australian Deepwater Oil Exploration
  • 7 days Europe Braces For End Of Iran Nuclear Deal
Alt Text

The U.S. LNG Boom Could Be About To Stall

United States LNG has seen…

Alt Text

2 Red Flags For The World’s Top Shale Play

Changing legislation and taxation for…

Gas Starts Flowing from Israel’s Levant Basin, What Now?

Gas Starts Flowing from Israel’s Levant Basin, What Now?

The first gas has started flowing from Israel’s supergiant Tamar gasfield in the Levant Basin. Where it will go will redraw the Mediterranean energy map and the geopolitics that goes along with it.

The Tamar field stakeholders announced on 30 March that the gas had started flowing, raising the value of Texas-based Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), which holds a 36% stake, and Israel’s two Delek Group subsidiaries, which each hold a 15.6% stake.

For now, the gas is being pumped to mainland Israel, where it will feed the domestic market, but exports should begin in 2-3 years. What Israel has in mind is the European market, via a hoped-for undersea Mediterranean pipeline to Turkey, which has the infrastructure to get it to Europe.

The competition for this prized market is stiff. In total, the Mediterranean’s Levant Basin has an estimated total of 122 trillion cubic feet of gas and 1.7 billion barrels of oil. Lebanon and Cyprus are eyeing the same market for their own Levant Basin gas resources. Cyprus has found gas in its section of the basin, and Lebanon has announced a tender for exploration off its shoreline.

Related article: LNG Exports Threaten High Gas Prices in the US as Shale Production Slows

The Greek Cypriot government believes it is sitting on an amazing 60 trillion cubic feet of gas, but these are early days—these aren’t proven reserves and commercial viability could be years away. In the best-case scenario, production could feasibly begin in five years. Exports are even further afield, with some analysts suggesting 2020 as a start date. 

Israel has the upper hand right now in terms of development and production, but it lacks the infrastructure without Turkey.

Israel was originally hoping to lay a pipeline that would traverse both Cyprus and Turkey, but there are too many political pitfalls to this plan (which would essentially mean a final resolution to the Turkey-Cyprus spat). The ideal would have been a pipeline that connects all the Levant Basin resources—including Lebanon, Israel, Cyprus and Turkey—but this is the stuff of geopolitical dreams.

In the end, it is shaping up that an Israel-Turkey pipeline is not only possible, but coming to fruition. Earlier this month an official apology from the Israeli prime minister to his Turkish counterpart for some high-level grievances was engineered by US President Barack Obama. It was an unprecedented move by Israel and one that illustrates how important this pipeline is for Israel. An apology was really the only thing keeping Turkey from green-lighting this pipeline project without a backlash at home.

This Israel-Turkey pipeline makes Lebanon and Cyprus nervous. It essentially cuts them out of the equation. Politics for now will keep Lebanon from connecting up to any Israeli pipeline, and Turkey won’t have a connector to Cyprus. 

Related article: TURKEY-ISRAEL: Energy Cooperation Prospects Boosted by Israeli Apology

Russia’s Gazprom, of course, is not keen to lose its stranglehold on the European market. To that end, it’s jumped in on Tamar itself, obtaining exclusive rights from Israel to develop the field’s liquefied natural gas (LNG). Here’s the plan: Russia is hoping to divert Israeli gas exports to Europe by banking on these resources being turned into LNG for Russian export to Asian markets instead. Russia is willing to invest heavily in a $5 billion floating LNG facility to this end. In return it gets exclusive rights to purchase and export Tamar LNG. (Gazprom has signed the deal but it still awaits final approval from Israel).

For Israel, this is a windfall. There is an estimated 425 billion cubic meters (16 trillion cubic feet of gas in its Leviathan field, plus the 250 billion cubic meters in the Tamar field, which is now officially pumping. All this gas is worth about $240 billion on the European market, and Tamar gas alone could boost Israel’s GDP by 1% annually. For now, the Tamar gas will result in a decline in the price of electricity for Israelis by way of reducing the production costs for the state utility.

For Europe, it will mean newfound power to deal with Russia differently like it did with the recent Cypriot bailout package that came along with a harsh lesson for Russian oligarchs who are seeing their Cypriot banks holdings sequestered.

By. Jen Alic of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News