Noble Discoveries In Levant Basin Total 35 TCF, CEO Tells Cyprus-US Chamber
The CEO of Noble Energy, Charles Davidson, on 4 May said his company has discovered 35 trillion cu ft of natural gas in the Levant Basin in the East Mediterranean. Speaking in New York at the Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce annual awards gathering, Mr Davidson said the company “believes that natural gas deposits in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) could help develop good relations with its neighbors,” pointing out that “these deposits far exceed Cyprus’s needs and can be exported abroad.”
In December 2011, Noble announced the discovery of 5-8 tcf of natural gas in the Aphrodite field in Block 12, putting a mean estimate of 7 tcf (198bn cu ms). Cyprus’ domestic demand for natural gas is estimated at 35.4bn cu ft (1bcm) in 2020. Appraisal drilling in Block 12 is expected to begin in the second half of 2012. The discovery gives Cyprus the potential to provide its own source of energy for power generation as well as to become an energy exporter.
Noble is now in consultation with the government of Cyprus on laying a gas pipeline from Block 12 to Vassilikos on the island’s southern coast where the main power generation facility is located. If agreement is reached, Aphrodite gas is expected to arrive in Cyprus in 2015-16. The Cyprus government plans later to build a gas distribution system that would pipe natural gas to other facilities on the island. Noble has also promoted the idea of an LNG facility located at Vassilikos.
“Thirty-five trillion cu ft of natural gas have been discovered in Cyprus’s and Israel’s EEZ,” Mr Davidson said. “The amount of natural gas exceeds the needs of their domestic markets, which cannot absorb the quantities of natural gas that will be produced, thus its commercial exploitation is necessary through other exports to other countries. A great opportunity for natural gas transfer to Europe and Asia opens up, but also an opportunity for better relations between Cyprus and neighboring countries that never existed before.”
Noble discovered Israel’s Leviathan field in December 2010, where resources are estimated at 17 tcf, and the Tamar field the year before that, where gas resources are put at 9.1 tcf. Tamar is now under development and due to come into production in April 2013. Noble operates the Mari-B field and its satellite Noa, in the Israeli offshore. Mari-B is for the time being, Israel’s only source of domestic gas.
Noble has recently informed the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), which receives gas from the Mari-B field in the Yam Tethys license, that it must reduce deliveries to 95,000mn BTU a day [94mn cfd] due to the fact that the field’s resources are becoming depleted. Throughout 2011, IEC has had to rely on Mari-B gas and liquid imports to make up for outages of Egyptian gas. Last month the Egyptian authorities canceled the gas contract with East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), which had delivered gas to the Israeli market. The Mari-B field is expected to expire by the end of the year.
© Copyright MEES 2012.