Tamar Shutdown Highlights Israel Upstream Risk

Last week’s unprecedented shutdown of Israel’s Tamar gas platform could scare off upstream interest just as US major Exxon was looking to enter. Heightened regional tensions have also seen Turkey begin drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ (MEES, 10 May).

Israel Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz on 5 May ordered the shutdown of all 1.1bn cfd output from the key Tamar gas field. This came after security services informed the ministry of a “credible threat” to the field’s platform, located just 20km from the Israeli port of Ashkelon and 25km northwest of the Gaza Strip (see map).

Though the threat of terrorist attack has always loomed large over the prospects for Israeli gas development – one reason LNG production facilities onshore Israel have never been considered as a serious proposition for either 11tcf Tamar or the 22tcf Leviathan field – this is the first time the threat of attack has caused Israel’s only producing field to halt operations. (CONTINUED - 1518 WORDS)