New Gas Field Discovered Off Israel’s Coast

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A view from Zikhron Ya‘aqov on The Leviathan gas platform, 10km offshore Israel. Zikhron Ya‘aqov, Oct 25, 2020. Photo by Eitan Elhadez-Barak/TPS
By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 6 October, 2022

 

Jerusalem, 6 October, 2022 (TPS) — A new natural gas reservoir has recently been discovered off Israel’s coast, giving another significant boost to Israel’s rapidly developing energy industry.

The Greek Energean Oil and Gas plc. announced Thursday that it is “pleased to announce that the Hermes exploration well has made a commercial gas discovery of between 7 and 15 billion cubic meters (BCM).”

The Hermes exploration well, at block 31, is offshore Israel’s northern coast, just south of the Karish rig, which is threatened by Hezbollah.

The company noted that the discovery at Hermes increases the likelihood of gas findings in the nearby Poseidon and Orpheus structures.

Israel’s economy has received a significant enhancement from its gas discoveries, found in some 20 wells.

The gas fields are not only economically important to Israel, but politically as well. In 2013, the Israeli government decided that the country should export 40% of its gas production and invest the profits in economic development.

Israel has signed contracts to supply gas to Jordan and Egypt, and plans to build a pipeline through Cyprus to Greece to provide Europe with gas.

Most recently, Israel signed in June a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the European Union (EU) and Egypt on cooperation regarding trade, transportation, and export of natural gas from Israel to EU countries, as part of the Regional Gas Forum of the Eastern Mediterranean Countries (EMGF) in Egypt.

According to the Natural Gas Authority, the Israeli economy has saved about NIS 65 billion in the last year alone due to the transition to the use of natural gas, which price in Israel continues to be significantly lower than in the world.

The economic savings in energy costs in the years 2014-2021 resulting from the use of natural gas instead of other fuels in the energy economy are estimated at NIS 116 billion.

This signing of the MOU is “another step on the way to Israel’s positioning as a natural gas power, which will increase natural gas exports to Egypt, and from there to other European countries, which need another natural gas source following the global energy crisis,” the Ministry of Energy stated.

In total, some 35 trillion cubic feet of gas have been found in Israeli waters, worth some $500 billion.

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