Gazprom cedes promising Israeli shelf fields to Novatek–minister

Russian natural gas giant Gazprom has given potential projects on the Mediterranean Sea shelf away to major private producer Novatek, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told Russian news agencies in an interview on Friday.

Liberman said that the development of large gas fields recently discovered on the Israeli shelf is one of the priorities of the Russian-Israeli cooperation, although no concrete steps have been taken due to internal Russian and Israeli problems.

Russia may participate in laying a pipeline on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea to Cyprus to pump Israeli gas to the European market, Liberman said. Another project of cooperation could become the construction of facilities to produce liquefied natural gas.

The minister expects a decision on these issues to be made by the end of 2013.

Gas reserves of the Israeli shelf are estimated at 900 billion–1.4 trillion cubic meters, 40% of which could be exported. The reserves are concentrated in the Tamar and Leviathan fields. The Tamar field gave first gas in March, while the second field will be put in operation in 2016.

In February, Gazprom’s affiliate, Gazprom Marketing & Trading, said it has signed the main conditions on exclusive production of LNG from Tamar for 20 years.

SOURCE: PRIME, 2013

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