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Israel Set To Export Its First-Ever Crude Oil Cargo

Israel is joining the club of oil exporters as a tanker loaded on Monday crude from the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) developing the Karish field, the Financial Times reports.

Karish is primarily a gas field, but it has associated crude oil, the first of which is now being loaded onto a tanker to take overseas. The crude oil tanker Seliger, an Aframax with the capacity to carry 700,000 barrels of crude, was tracked by satellites close to the Karish FPSO on Sunday evening and loaded crude from the unit on Monday, according to FT. Security measures during the operations were enhanced to prevent groups such as Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon from trying to disrupt the loading.

Energean, the operator of the Karish field, is happy to help Israel join “the club of international oil exporters,” the company’s chief executive Mathios Rigas told FT. The imminent export of Israel’s first-ever crude cargo is a “milestone” for London-listed Energean, Rigas added.

Energean announced first gas from the Karish field in late October 2022, less than two weeks after Israel and Lebanon reached an agreement to settle their long-running dispute over their maritime border.

“We have delivered a landmark project that brings competition to the Israeli gas market, enhances security of energy supply in the East Med region and brings affordable and clean energy that will displace coal-fired power generation, making a material impact to the environment,” Energean’s Rigas said at the time.

In a trading and operational update last month, Energean said that the first cargo of hydrocarbon liquids from the Karish field lifted under a contract with Vitol was expected in February 2023.

Israel and Lebanon reached in October a historic agreement to settle the dispute over their maritime border—an agreement that could pave the way to more oil and gas exploration in Eastern Mediterranean waters where major gas discoveries have been made in recent years. Following the agreement, TotalEnergies, Eni, and QatarEnergy are now partners in two exploration blocks offshore Lebanon.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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