Almost ten years ago a natural gas field off the coast of Israel has been discovered. The exploitation is now beeing delayed in the last possible minute because of concerns about health hazards. Now objections are being examined all over again.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli company Delek said that the Leviathan field will be delayed for a few days. The delay was ordered by the Israeli Ministry of the Environment. The operators of the gas field must first ensure that the production does not pose any health risks to residents on the Israeli coast, the ministry said. It had already been expected that toxic substances could possibly escape when the production starts.
Leviathan is located about 130 kilometers west of the port city of Haifa at about 1700 meters sea depth. The drilling rig with platform is located ten kilometers off the Israeli coast. The exploitation is performed by the American company Noble Energy and the Israeli companies Delek and Ratio Oil Exploration. The privately financed development of the largest energy project in Israel's history has so far cost the equivalent of more than 3.4 billion euros. Exports to Egypt and Jordan are to begin shortly after gas production begins.