After years of delay, Israel is embarking on its largest-ever infrastructure project with development of the huge Leviathan offshore gas field in the Mediterranean. The first phase involves an initial investment of $4 billion to produce 12 billion cu meters of gas annually for domestic customers as well as, initially, Jordanian, Palestinian and Egyptian markets.
But that is just the beginning. The eventual investment in Leviathan and related export gas pipeline projects could surpass $10 billion or more, with further possible customers in Turkey and Europe.
In recent weeks, the Leviathan partners—Houston-based Noble Energy Inc., Israel’s Delek Group and Ratio Oil Exploration—have been lining up financing from foreign financial institutions, including JP Morgan and HSBC.
The Leviathan consortium has signed deals with Jordan’s National Electric Power Co. and two Israeli customers, with a third reportedly due to be announced in the coming days. Delek has said there are talks with more than a dozen domestic and foreign customers, and deals are expected to be signed in the coming weeks.
The companies are moving to develop the offshore field since they settled, earlier this year, government antitrust concerns that had stalled the project. Gas is projected to start pumping by 2019, says Bloomberg.