Times of Israel: Palestinians to be first buyers of Israeli natural gas

The first buyer of natural gas from Israel’s largest gas field will be the Palestine Power Generation Company, which will purchase some $1.2 billion-worth of gas over 20 years, one of the major partners in the field announced on Sunday.

The Leviathan group will sell the PPGC, which supplies power to Palestinian areas in the West Bank, as much as 4.75 billion cubic meters of gas when the Leviathan reserve begins to yield in 2016 or 2017, the Delek Group said in a statement.

The Delek conglomerate owns 45.34 percent of the field, followed by the US-based Noble Energy with 39.66% and Ratio Oil Exploration’s 15%. Leviathan‘s estimated reserves – 537 billion cubic meters – make it the largest offshore gas discovery in a decade.

The Palestinian company aims to build a $300 million power plant in the West Bank city of Jenin to produce electricity from the gas, Reuters reported.

“Economic cooperation such as the agreement signed today will lead to prosperity and growth and will contribute to the fostering of mutual respect and trust between Israelis and Palestinians and lay the foundations for peace,” Yitzhak Tshuva, the Delek Group’s controlling shareholder, was quoted as saying.

“We continue to work toward developing the Leviathan field as soon as possible,” Noble Energy’s vice president of Eastern Mediterranean operations, Lawson Freeman, said according to Reuters. He added that the group was hoping to sign more export agreements in the near future.

……..

SOURCE: Times of Israel, 2014


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