US gas giant works to avoid Israel electric shortage (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 05/16/12)
AFP} Agence France Presse
AFP} Agence France Presse Articles-Index-Top
Noble Energy is to hook up two small natural gas fields to Israel´s
central gas supply to avoid electricity shortages over the summer due
to the cut in Egyptian supplies, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
Israel currently generates 40 percent of its electricity from natural
gas and until last year, Egypt provided 43 percent of its gas
But that supply has been regularly disrupted since an uprising
overthrew former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011,
raising fears of electricity shortages in the Jewish state.
Binyamin Zomer, director of corporate affairs at Noble Energy, said
the firm had drilled the Noa and Pinnacle gas fields off the southern
Israeli coast, and planned to connect the two by pipeline to the
nearby Mari-B platform.
"From there, it will tie into the 30-inch (76 cm) pipeline that
brings the gas to shore," he told AFP.
"It will add significant supplies," he said, without specifying
exactly how much gas the venture would provide.
The Mari-B platform, also operated by the US energy and gas giant,
sits over the Yam Tethys reserve which is depleting faster than
expected due to overpumping since the slide in Egyptian supplies,
"That´s right now declining because we demanded more of that well in
the absence of Egyptian gas," he said. "We delivered much more than
was anticipated early on, when the Egyptian gas stopped coming."
Noble Energy had worked "closely" with the Israeli government on the
plans, he said.
"It´s something that we´ve done in order to mitigate the absence of
Egyptian gas. The government wants us to do it, our customers want to
do it and we wanted to do whatever we could to make sure that gas was
delivered to the Israeli market," he told AFP.
Lawson Freeman, Nobleís vice president for the Eastern Mediterranean,
said the aim of the project was to avoid electricity shortages during
the hot summer months.
"Noble is utilising every technology at its disposal to bring as much
gas to Israel as possible and hopes to mitigate the need for
alternative fuels in the hot summer months," he said in a statement
received by AFP.
The disruptions in gas supply have forced Israel´s electrical
stations to use coal and diesel fuel, both of which are more
expensive, and has prompted the government to consider raising
electricity prices by as much as 20 percent.
In the absence of Egyptian gas, Israel has been pushing for the
speedy exploitation of several recently-discovered gas fields off its
To that end, it has signed a deal with Cyprus to mark out maritime
borders, but it faces challenges from Lebanon which claims the gas
fields lie in its territorial waters. (Copyright © 2012 Agence France
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY