According to NATURAL GAS EUROPE , the controlling stakeholders offshore Israel – Noble Energy and Delek Group – are moving forward in their expansion and development plans for Tamar and Leviathan gas fields by trying to coordinate and schedule a sequence of drilling operations between the two projects.
A source told NGE that a tender was issued for a drilling rig, which is supposed to arrive at Israel later this year. The rig will drill a new well at Tamar field, Tamar 5, the source said. The new well is part of the expansion plan for the already producing field.
Speaking at the Herzeliya Conference June 16, Delek Group CEO Yossi Abu said that by the end of the year a drilling rig would arrive in Israeli waters. However he did not refer to the Tamar field. Drilling production wells in Leviathan will follow final investment decision at the end of this year, so not before the second half of next year, at the earliest.
After completing its work plan in Tamar the rig will then move on to drill a few production wells in Leviathan field, by which time the final investment decision to develop the field should have been taken, contingent on firm gas sales agreements. Leviathan partners are US Noble Energy (the operator with 39.7%), Delek Group (45.3%) and Ratio (15%).
According to a development plan approved this month by the energy ministry, Leviathan's three anchor customers for its phase 1 development are expected to be the domestic Israeli market, the Jordanian power company Nepco and the Egyptian consortium Dolphinus Holdings, which was supposed to purchase gas from Tamar last year in a deal that has not materialized.
Further on, the drilling rig is expected to drill for natural gas at the Aphrodite gas field offshore Cyprus which is controlled by US Noble Energy (35%) the Anglo-Dutch major Shell (35%) and Delek Group (30%).
Deadlock in Turkish negotiations
Meanwhile on the Turkey-Israel diplomatic front no progress has been made, despite promises to the contrary. It now seems that the chances of Israel exporting gas to Turkey are even lower than before.
In a background briefing this week to various Israeli media outlets, a high-level security official, understood to be defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, said that sooner or later Israel will confront Hamas in Gaza, which will end in the defeat of Hamas and the end of its rule in Gaza Strip.
Hamas is supported by Turkey, which has proposed building a port in Gaza as part of the settlement with Israel. However, the senior security official said that there is no reason to give the Gazans a port. "It is absolute nonsense," the security official was quoted as saying by Haaretz daily.
The crisis between Israel and Turkey stems from the Mavi Marara incident in 2010. In that incident, Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish citizens on a boat headed to Gaza, trying to break the naval blockade Israel imposed on Gaza. Lieberman, the new defence minister, has always opposed rapprochement with Turkey and a new confrontation on the Gazan front would serve his interests well.
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API - American Petroleum Institute reported that the first four months of this year saw U.S. petroleum demand average 750 thousand barrels a day above the same period in 2017 despite higher prices, a sign of solid economic activity. April also saw the U.S. produce a record 10.5 million barrels per day (MBD) of oil.
IMF - “Egypt’s growth has continued to accelerate during 2017/18, rising to 5.2 percent in the first half of the year from 4.2 percent in 2016/17. The current account deficit has also declined sharply, reflecting the recovery in tourism and strong growth in remittances, while improved investor confidence has continued to support portfolio inflows. In addition, gross international reserves rose to $44 billion by end-April, equal to 7 months of imports.
BAKER HUGHES A GE - U.S. Rig Count is up 1 rig from last week to 1,046, with oil rigs unchanged at 844, gas rigs up 1 to 200, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 2. Canada Rig Count is up 4 rigs from last week to 83, with oil rigs up 6 to 38 and gas rigs down 2 to 45.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $79.57 per barrel at 0310 GMT, up 27 cents, or 0.3 percent from their last close. Brent broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $71.62 a barrel, up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last settlement.