New Gas Field Could Match Tamar, Gas Firms Say

YERUSHALAYIM -
An aeriel view of the Israeli gas rig 'Tamar' situated about 80 km off the Israeli northern coast. Tamar was the first large-scale hydrocarbon resource discovered in international waters and claimed by Israel. After more than four years of drilling the flow of natural gas from the Tamar gas field has begun. Photo by Albatross Aerial photography/Nobel Energy/FLASH90
An aerial view of the Israeli gas rig Tamar situated about 50 miles off the Israeli northern coast. Tamar was the first large-scale hydrocarbon resource discovered in international waters and claimed by Israel. (Albatross Aerial photography/Nobel Energy/Flash90)

Israeli energy firms Isramco and Modiin Energy announced Sunday that they had found a “substantial” new gas field off the coast of Israel. The companies released an evaluation by Texas-based consultants Netherland, Sewell & Associates that claims that the new finds could contain over 9 tcf (trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, close to the size of the Tamar gas field’s 10 tcf.

The find is split into two separate but adjoining fields; the Og prospect (part of the Daniel East field), which could have 1.1 tcf of gas, and the Daniel West field, which could have 8 tcf of gas. There is a 25 to 50 percent chance of finding that much gas in the fields, the evaluation said. It should be noted that initial evaluations for the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields included similar numbers.

Although the find is significant, it’s not clear when or even if the companies will develop the fields, at least until the Leviathan field begins producing gas in 2017 or 2018. Over the past year, the state has changed the conditions of the licenses for exploitation of the fields several times, and it is not clear if the Knesset is prepared to deal with another licensing round.

In any event, the companies said that they would continue with their exploratory work in order to establish exactly how much gas was in the fields.