Leviathan Heralds Energy Independence for Israel
Leviathan appears in the Book of Psalms, as a sea serpent that is killed by God and then given as food to creatures in the wilderness, and it is mentioned in the Book of Job as well. Today, its name is used for something monstrous or of enormous size. It is this latter meaning that the Israelis have borrowed to describe the gigantic gas reservoir located in the Israeli exclusive economic zone (EEZ), approximately 130 kilometers off the shores of Haifa. It contains an estimated 22 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in a field that is 1.7 kilometers under the sea.
The Chevron - led Leviathan consortium is planning a new third subsea pipeline bringing “considerable value to the reservoir." Indeed, the the value of the reservoir has increased, and is now estimated at about $12.5 billion, an increase of about 10% compared to the estimate in the last year's report.
Up to now production in the field has been facilitated by four subsea wells that are connected, via a subsea manifold and two 120 kilometer long pipelines, to an offshore platform, where all processing of gas takes place. From the platform the gas is piped to shore into the Israeli national grid, through which it is distributed to clients in Israel, Egypt and Jordan.
The plan for a third subsea transmission pipeline from the wells to the platform will run an estimated $562 million to increase gas supply capacity.
The new pipeline would enable production output from the Israel offshore field to increase to about 1.4 BCF of gas per day or 14 BCM per year. Operation of the pipeline is expected to commence in 2025.