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Chevron Reroutes Israeli Natural Gas Exports As Fighting In Gaza Intensifies

Chevron has rerouted the flow from a natural gas pipeline offshore Israel that carries the gas to Egypt after the Israeli government ordered the company to shut down its platform in the Tamar field.

Now the flow would go via Jordan before it reaches Egypt, Bloomberg reported. Reuters added that the 90-km pipeline is the main connection between the Leviathan gas field and Egypt. It is located 10 km from the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon, which was one of the targets of the Hamas attack that began on Saturday.

The order came earlier this week and was issued on safety precaution grounds amid continued fighting between the Israeli Defence Forces and Hamas. The re-routing of gas flows is also a result of that order.

“Following the instruction by the Ministry of Energy to shut-in production at the Tamar Production Platform and the security situation in the south of Israel, all exports to Egypt have been re-routed via the FAJR pipeline,” Chevron said in a statement.

The supermajor became operator of the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields when it acquired their original operator, Noble Energy. Tamar has reserves estimated at around 11 trillion cubic feet of gas and Leviathan has twice that, according to estimates cited by Energy Intelligence.

It had plans for expanding its Eastern Mediterranean operations into Cyprus and Egypt as well but the flare-up of violence between Israel and Palestine might interfere with these plans, which were based on the assumption of relative peace in the region.

Now there is worry that the conflict will expand regionally, which would affect the development of the natural gas industry in that part of the world. This would be bad news for Europe, which had eyed the East Mediterranean as a potential source of natural gas to replace Russian gas.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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