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    Israel to ramp output to 40bn m3/yr: press


Cairo believes a framework agreement with European customers could be struck this summer.

by: Callum Cyrus

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Israel to ramp output to 40bn m3/yr: press

Israel is on track to double its gas production within the next few years, and plans to clinch a gas supply deal with Europe within months, Reuters reported on May 16.

Citing industry officials, the news agency said Israeli output was set to reach 40bn m3 annually within the next few years, up from 20bn m3 at present, thanks to the launch of several new upstream projects. During the summer, the country hopes to reach a framework agreement on supply to Europe, the director general of its energy ministry, Lior Schillat, said.

At present, Israel directs much of its gas output to the domestic market, but it also supplies gas to Egypt from the Chevron-run Leviathan gas field. Leviathan was launched in late-2019 and was expected to yield 10bn m3 of gas last year. In light of growing Egyptian gas demand, a deal was struck February 16 to ship more quantities to Egypt via Jordan.

Leviathan is one of several gas fields off Israel's Eastern Mediterranean coast identified in recent decades. A third bidding round for offshore oil and gas exploration licences was held in June 2020, expanding Israel's frontier after 12 new blocks were awarded in the previous round, according to local media.

Israel will add further near-term volumes in the third quarter of this year, when operator Energean launches the Karish gas field, which contains an estimated 1.4bn ft3 of 2P natural gas.  Closer to Leviathan is the Tamar deposit, which contains 11.1 trillion ft3 in natural gas reserves, and has significantly boosted domestic output since its launch in 2013.

Schillat told Reuters that Energean had also uncovered additional reserves around Karish that could be tied into the field's central infrastructure.

"At the beginning it will be small amounts [produced from Karish] and slowly, as production and delivery capacities rise, (the amounts) will increase," Schillat said.